Staff WriterIt comes without much surprise that the Westboro Baptist Curch plans to show up at the University of Missouri – Columbia after SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam, came out and who will become the first openly gay player in the NFL following the draft in May. Mizzou students took to Memorial Stadium on February 10 to show their support for Sam, standing in the snow to form “SAM” Between Mizzou's support of their own tiger and the public support Sam is receiving, it is no surprise that Westboro plans to arrive in Columbia at the Mizzou Arena at 12:30 p.m. and stay until 1:45 p.m. Mizzou sophomores, Kelaney Lakers and Alix Carruth, have organized a peaceful counter protest. "Our hope is for the wall to reflect a unified student body and symbolize a display of love towards our own tiger, Michael Sam," Lakers and Carruth say in a carefully worded statement sent to press. "We're humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the community's response. This issue is so much bigger than either of us, and we want to do justice to Michael Sam and show him that Mizzou loves him." Details were posted on facebook, with over 4,000 planned attendees as of Wednesday morning. Lakers and Carruth say they designed their event after the 2012 human wall at Texas A&M, where students blocked the hate group from a soldier's funeral. Westboro never showed up -- which is a possible scenario for this weekend's scheduled protest. Rules to keep everyone safe have been laid out in the facebook posting. 1) Do not engage their protesters physically or verbally. 2) One line, no circle. 3) Bundle up! 4) Leave if asked by the family, police, or university. Lakers and Carruth ask that everyone police themselves and stay true to the OneMizzou mission of being a family. M-I-Z!
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