Star Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard suggested Monday he may boycott the program after coach Mike Gundy was photographed wearing a T-shirt displaying the One America News Network, a far-right news channel that has been praised by President Donald Trump.
Gundy is seen in a photograph on Twitter wearing the shirt with the letters OAN. In a tweet responding to the photo, Hubbard said, “I will not stand for this. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable. I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE.”
Hubbard, who is black, has been more active on social media since George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in the custody of Minneapolis police while under the knee of a white officer. Hubbard has been supportive of protests around the world.
OSU President Burns Hargis also took to Twitter saying, "I hear and respect the concerns expressed by our black student-athletes. This is a time for unity of purpose to confront racial inequities and injustice. We will not tolerate insensitive behavior by anyone at Oklahoma State."
"This afternoon has been very disturbing. The tweets from the current and former players are of grave concern,” OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder said.
Mike Gundy took it upon himself to repair the relationship with Hubbard. Hubbard alongside Gundy shared a video to Twitter Monday evening saying "change is coming I promise you that."
Several current and former Oklahoma State athletes responded to Hubbard’s tweet with support. Current linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga declared “I stand with him!” while former Cowboys running back Justice Hill, now with the Baltimore Ravens, tweeted: “OSU Athletics and University need major change. 100% support brotha.”
An Oklahoma State athletic department spokesman said, “We don’t have a comment at this time.”
In April, Gundy said in a conference call with reporters that the media has been too negative in its coverage of what he called the “Chinese virus.” He apologized a few days later.
“I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some,” Gundy said in a statement. “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.”
In that same April interview, Gundy had pushed for a hasty re-opening of facilities, but Oklahoma State disagreed with his timetable. The school recently re-opened its facilities, only to have several players test positive for coronavirus. Ogbongbemiga said on Twitter that he tested positive after he attended a protest in Tulsa.
Gundy mentioned the Floyd situation in a statement on Twitter: “I’m thankful to be in an environment with Oklahoma State football and our Cowboy Culture where we respect each other. The 200 people in our family understand and appreciate diversity and have compassion for one another. I hope we replace the rage with respect and all come together.
Hubbard was NFL draft-eligible, but he chose to return to school. He was a first-team All-American and the AP Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year last season and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. His season total of 2,094 rushing yards was the second-best single-season total in school history, trailing only Barry Sanders’ 1988 Heisman season. We thank you for your understanding, support, and patience as we navigate this transition. Our continued focus now is to partner with each member on their journeys to a healthy and balanced life.