Chuba Hubbard, college football’s leading rusher last season, tweeted that he “will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE” on Monday after a photo emerged of his head coach wearing a t-shirt of rightwing news network OAN.
“I will not stand for this,” Hubbard wrote. “This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable.”
Mike Gundy was pictured in the shirt on Facebook and the photo later circulated on Twitter. OAN, which stands for One America News Network, has attacked the Black Lives Matter movement, champions Donald Trump, criticizes the mainstream media and regularly recycles conspiracy theories.
Hubbard’s teammates soon supported him. Teven Jenkins said he and the entire offensive line backed his comments, while linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga tweeted “I stand with him!” in response to Hubbard’s tweet.
Former Oklahoma State star AJ Green, one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, added his voice to the backlash. “Can’t stay Silent Anymore! Call a Spade a Spade!!,” he wrote on Twitter.
Gundy, who played at quarterback for Oklahoma State and has been the team’s head coach since 2005, has spoken of his admiration of OAN in the past. In April, he praised the way the network had covered the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People are getting the virus, they’re getting over it, they’re back out there in public, they have antibodies that can help fight it,” he said. “It’s truly interesting to me to see what the mainstream media, sadly enough just how negative everybody can be. Let’s just report the news. Let’s start putting things in there that are positive, because I know there’s positives out there.”
Gundy later issued a statement on his comments. “I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some,” he said. “It was never my intention to offend anyone and I apologize. My first priority is and will always be the student-athletes and doing what is best for the program and the university.”
A spokesperson for Oklahoma State said the university has no comment on the matter.
Hubbard’s comments came on the same day that a coach at Iowa left the team after allegations he made racist remarks towards black players.
Hubbard, who is from Canada, rushed for 2,094 yards last years and was named a first-team All-American.
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