Missouri racial tensions felt all the way to the Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Missouri racial tensions felt all the way to the Coast

Richard and Christy Floyd say they were panicked earlier this week when their son was in the middle of racial tensions at the University of Missouri. (Photo source: WLOX News) Richard and Christy Floyd say they were panicked earlier this week when their son was in the middle of racial tensions at the University of Missouri. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

When Gulfport High School star quarterback Richaud Floyd went to the University of Missouri, there was plenty of celebration.

But recently, that celebration turned into fear for him and his family when racial tensions hit an all-time high at the university. 

Richaud, a redshirt freshman, was in the middle of it all.

“I feel afraid for him because I can't be there to protect him,” said his father, Richard Floyd. “He’s miles away from home. I can’t be there to protect him if something happens to him. All I can do is just pray and go by what he’s telling me and that he’s ok and just feel good about that.”

Racial tensions have been at the Missouri campus for years, but it wasn’t until the football team aligned with hunger strike protestor Jonathan Butler and threatened not to play.

Richaud’s parents said he supported the football team’s threatened walkout over the situation, but when he heard the threats on social media, he told his mom, “It’s getting crazy here and I’ve got to go.”

When university President Tim Wolfe resigned on Monday, Richaud thought it was over.

“He felt it was over,” said his mother, Christy Floyd. “Until the guy with the threat on social media to shoot every black person came out, yes, he thought it was over.”

Two men were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of posting social media threats against black students at Mizzou, but both were far from the Columbia campus when taken into custody.

Richaud left with upperclassmen on the football team who lived off campus, and did not go to classes on Wednesday.

“Tuesday night, Wednesday I was in panic,” Christy said. “But when he text and said you know mom, things are getting better. A lot of it is social media rumor. He said, ‘I’m going to be ok.’ I felt better because immediately I started getting on the phone, trying to see where I can transfer him to, what options do I have. I went into mommy mode.”

Now, she says, Richaud is ready to stay.

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