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Ian Simon speaks out about 2015 protests, Mizzou’s actions in 2020

Mizzou Links for Monday, June 8

At Mizzou, it’s easy to take weeks like this past one and point back to the moment in our very recent past when it became clear that issues of justice and sport could not be separated. And while looking at everything through the lens of the 2015 protests risks cheapening the present moment, it’s still a helpful lens to understanding the historical arc of racial justice at the University.

It’s especially easy to get an inside look at the thoughts and actions behind those protests when those involved are willing to talk. And on Sunday, Ben Hochman at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch landed the chance to speak with Ian Simon, the de facto leader of the protests at the time.

Hochman asked Simon about his experience at Mizzou and specific instances in which he struggled with the dynamic on campus. He also got pretty candid when it comes to the moment of deciding whether or not they would boycott.

When the football team was approached by the other black students, and they were literally crying out for our help, and asking for us, it’s one of those things that’s bigger than football. These are people’s lives and these are people that need your help. I couldn’t sit around and not do anything. I know a lot of guys felt like that. These are people who look just like us. If we weren’t playing ball, we could very easily be in their shoes. And being ridiculed the same way and needing someone to kind of speak for us, give a voice to the voiceless. To us, it was just the right thing to do. There was no other option.

Of course, that wasn’t the only content to be produced from this angle on Sunday. Also at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, former Tiger and current radio analyst Howard Richards joined Dave Matter and Ben Frederickson on Eye of the Tiger to talk about race, football and America in 2020.

So while some people may be tired of hearing about the past, the past clearly isn't tired of making itself heard. At the very least, we know that the protests had a profound impact on some of the players that were a part of the team at the time. Look no further than Drew Lock, who could be seen marching in Denver on Sunday.

We’ve always known the 2015 protests will inform how we see the world of sports and justice at Mizzou, and this past week has shown us it will continue to do so for a long time moving forward.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Sean Williams at PowerMizzou spoke to a coach of recent Mizzou commit Daylan Carnell about how his game translates to the next level. And while that story is only for subscribers, everyone can continue to vote in the ongoing Ultimate Mizzou Player Basketball bracket, which is currently in the Sweet 16.
  • Cuonzo Martin continues to get in work under the current recruiting restrictions, this time setting up a virtual visit with a rising four-star recruit.
  • Sometimes you take forever to make up your mind, and then other times you’re Grace Slaughter. The rising high school sophomore from Grain Valley announced her commitment to Robin Pingeton’s program on Saturday night.
  • Mizzou Swim & Dive also picked up a commitment yesterday from a in-state sprinter.
  • If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)