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SEC coaches support Gary Pinkel's decision-making during Missouri race protests

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

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If Monday was the day of action, and Tuesday was the day of threats, Wednesday was the day Missouri's racial protests began the normal political life cycle. Folks on the anti-protestor side began looking into the background of as many people and incidents as possible, hoping to whatever inconsistencies they could use to paint the entire protest as phony.

The result: Poop Swastika Truthers who decided that the feces swastika in the dorm in October was fake. That allowed them to produce headlines like "Are the protests built entirely on lies??????" Apparently there's a police report. Whoops. But the digging has just begun. And the diggers never have to worry about having their reputation ruined by being wrong. (The bonus: since the football team was involved, that means that sports columnists who are completely ill-equipped to talk about these things are also talking about these things. Awesome!)

Meanwhile, protestors dug in with visits from some of the more prominent Ferguson- and Black Lives Matter-related protestors: DeRay McKesson, to name one.

An optimist could note that this will clean up the process a bit -- the protestors will get more organized, and the digging will allow us to find out what's legit and what isn't. (There's almost always something that isn't.) A pessimist would quite easily note that this means the same Internet pissing match we've seen throughout the country is now tramp, tramp, tramping around the columns at Ol' Mizzou. The uniqueness of the situation will now be replaced by the argument life cycle we've seen infinite times, and a lot of the people involved will have little to no interest about Mizzou's actual fortunes in all of this.

This will now become like every single Internet political fight.

I long ago gave up speaking about politics on the internet because it simply wasn't worth it -- I have my facts and you have yours, and it doesn't even slightly matter what the actual facts are. In political arguments, it's a lot easier to try to win the argument than actually be right. We can choose our Internet sources and TV channels that fit perfectly with what we want to hear, we see what we already believe, and we can always be right and find people who agree with us.

Confrontation is hard. Actual facts are hard. No matter which side you're on -- and whether I wanted this to be the case or not, my own views are probably pretty clear at this point -- please keep the most open mind that you possibly can. Accept that your side of the argument might have flaws. Search them out. Try to figure out what is and isn't b.s. It's a lot easier to stop thinking and lean on the talking points that make you feel warm and justified. Don't. That's the only way that, in an argument between protestors and anti-protestors, you can actually support Mizzou in this.

(Oh yeah, and in actual news, a couple of white kids, students at other MO institutions, were arrested for making violent threats. And a professor resigned and found his resignation was not accepted. So there were some tangible items amid the yelling. And former Mizzou wrestler Tyron Woodley weighed in with some thoughtful, personal-experience words.)

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Mizzou Tigers pennant SEC coaches support Pinkel

The Trib (David Morrison): Gary Pinkel on the SEC Teleconference: BYU week

On how MU can focus on football with everything else going on...

"That's the million-dollar question right now. That's always going to be the concern. Our campus, there was a lot of social networking information last night. For the most part, it's my understanding, that the campus was calm. But there was a lot of misinformation. There was one particular person that the police caught that was suggesting some violent things happen around here. They caught that guy, which was really good. Did a great job. You're sitting home on a normal Tuesday night, and there's nothing normal about that. You'll be watching video, doing your homework, getting all your stuff done and all of this stuff is going on. I'm really concerned. We're going to address that as a football team today. We're going to go out and make it a good practice."

On what the message to recruits and commitments have been...

"I talked to five of our players who have committed last night and they were fired up. They were excited. The theme I'm getting from them is that 'you care about your players. That's what you told us. This is a family atmosphere, and it's obvious that you do that.' A couple players have said, 'My mom and dad are very proud of Mizzou for doing the right thing for the kids.'"

Post-Dispatch: SEC peers praise Pinkel's approach to protest

"The Missouri football team and Coach Pinkel made a stand for something they thought was right," Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said on Wednesday’s SEC teleconference. "It was really bold by Coach Pinkel, and I believe when you mentor and coach young men and invite them into your family you want to do everything you can to protect them. … Watching from afar, I believe Coach Pinkel is a man of integrity who not only understands his kids but the issues surrounding his institution and his program."

Now, fellow SEC coaches are of course going to support Pinkel and his decisions -- they all know how impossible that situation is going to be, trying to both support your team and not completely annoy the people on the other side of the argument (who, in this case, probably have a decent amount of pocket change). But I really liked Mason's and Bret Bielema's answers. They felt truly genuine. It was good to see.

Bielema's answers were also fun for a different reason:

Post-Dispatch: Pinkel concerned with distractions, rumors

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