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Mizzou Athletics apologizes after uproar over tweet

The Mizzou Athletics Department has apologized over Twitter after some social media users called earlier posts on the platform featuring athletes and other students insensitive.

Below is a screen shot ABC 17 News obtained that was captured Wednesday afternoon.

Mizzou Athletics later deleted the tweet and tweeted an apology Wednesday night, saying it had made a mistake.

Earlier we made a mistake when we posted a graphic about our student athletes. We apologize. Our intent was to provide personal information about our students, but we failed. We listened and removed the post. This video better represents our intent to celebrate our diversity.

— Mizzou Athletics (@MizzouAthletics) October 24, 2019

Screenshots of the tweet were shared on multiple personal Twitter accounts, receiving hundreds of retweets and comments saying the tweets were not sensitive to race.

Two University of Missouri students, Michael and Sydney, told ABC17 News their first reactions to the tweet.

“It just seems like they were focusing more on their race than their aspirations and what they want to do which is obviously more important,” Michael said.

“The two African American or black people were seen as being who they are racially,” Sydney said. “It was less of what their future is going to be like, and that just feels uneasy.”

The tweet appears to be a part of an NCAA inclusion campaign, which kicked off Tuesday, according to Mizzou Athletic’s Twitter.

#Mizzou is excited to kick off the second annual #NCAAInclusion Week!

Each of the next four days will have a different theme related to diversity & inclusion within Mizzou Athletics.

Join us to demonstrate the power of inclusion!#MIZ | #ShowMe | #NCAAInclusion

— Mizzou Athletics (@MizzouAthletics) October 22, 2019

“The athletic department is trying to have an open mind about what they posted, but it was actually closed,” Sydney said.

University of Missouri spokesman Christian Basi said MU leadership stands behind the Mizzou Athletics statement.

Sydney said this plays into a bigger issue of inequality on campus.

“Some of it can almost be swept under the rug or just like, ‘oh, we apologize,’ but then that’s it,” Sydney said. “I don’t think there’s that much actively being done help the situation or help LGBTQ or blacks on campus to feel included in the community on campus.”

Several students on campus, including Roland Knight, told ABC17 News they thought the department had no bad intentions with the post, but it was still wrong.

“By first glace it seems very wrong,” Knight said, “But I don’t think that was their intention … especially with their past I don’t think that’s something they would purposely do.”

Knight said their needs to be change on campus, “I think the best apology is changed behavior and that’s all they can do about it.”​​​​​​​

The director of Mizzou Athletics, Nick Joos, said the department will review it’s social media content screening procedures moving forward.

Check back for updates to this developing story or watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.

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ABC 17 News Team


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