Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin (R) has withdrawn a bill aiming to strip college athletes’ scholarships if they refuse to play for non-health reasons.
Brattin proposed the bill on Friday, in wake of a strike by University of Missouri football players hoping to force change on the school’s campus related to widespread racial issues and calling for the resignation of the university president.
Brattin said that in proposing the bill he simply wanted to create a dialogue around “an extremely important topic,” according to the Associated Press.
“While I am withdrawing the legislation, I hope the conversation will continue so that we can take steps to ensure the University of Missouri is providing a stable, positive learning environment for our young people,” Brattin said in a statement. “I sincerely believe students should be able to express their viewpoints, but I also believe our flagship state university has to keep and maintain the order that is expected from such an esteemed educational institution.”
His proposal wanted to revoke scholarships for any athlete that “calls, incites, supports or participates in any strike,” and required schools to fine coaches that facilitated any such protests.
After the strike, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel stood in support of his players, who ended up not boycotting any games after the school’s president stepped down. Pinkel stepped down from his job days later due to a cancer diagnosis.
- Jeremy Woo