Oklahoma State football head coach Mike Gundy was criticized by some of his players this week after a photo showed him wearing a One America News shirt.While Gundy apologized for the shirt, the incident shines a light on further accusations of racism in Gundy’s past as a coach and a player.One recent Oklahoma State player wrote that Gundy often threatened that he would be “sent back to the hood.”Former NFL player Albert Williams told The Oklahoman that Gundy has called him the N-word while the two were playing against each other as players in college.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was called out by some of his players this week after a photo showed him wearing a shirt promoting One America News — a far-right news network that is a favorite of President Donald Trump’s, has promoted conspiracy theories, and has referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as a “farce” and a “criminal front group.”The Cowboys’ star running back Chuba Hubbard criticized Gundy for wearing the shirt on Twitter. “I will not stand for this,” Hubbard wrote. “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.”Just hours later, Hubbard appeared in a video with Gundy, with both men attempting to show unity through gritted teeth. In that video, Hubbard apologized for how he handled the situation, while Gundy did not, sparking some more criticism about the difficult power dynamic present between coaches and college players.—Rohan Nadkarni (@RohanNadkarni) June 15, 2020Gundy offered a more complete apology in a new video the following day.
“I had a great meeting with our team today,” Gundy said. “Our players expressed their feelings as individuals and as team members. They helped me see through their eyes how the t-shirt affected their hearts.”Gundy said he had a turning point when he realized how the network, which he had praised as having “no commentary” and “no opinions” but rather “just the news” in the past, treated the Black Lives Matter movement.”Once I learned how that network felt about Black Lives Matter, I was disgusted, and knew it was completely unacceptable to me,” Gundy said. “I want to apologize to all members of our team, former players, and their families, for the pain and discomfort that has been caused over the last two days.”—Mike Gundy (@CoachGundy) June 16, 2020While Gundy’s apology came as a direct response to criticism from his players, there were some that criticized the coach for backing down, arguing that the players were overreacting to what was, ultimately, “just a shirt.”
—Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) June 16, 2020—Eric Thompson (ET) (@ETTalkShow) June 17, 2020But the problem with saying it was “just a shirt” is the other stories of racist accusations from Gundy’s past that Hubbard’s criticism brought to further light.Former Oklahoma State linebacker Patrick Macon wrote that Gundy had told him he would be “sent back to the hood” while he was a member of the team.—PatMaconMoves‼️〽️ (@Patrick_Macon44) June 15, 2020According to Dan Bernstein at Sporting News, Oklahoma State wide receiver LC Greenwood “wrote in a since-deleted post on Twitter that Gundy would call him a ‘hood rat’ and ‘thug’ and threaten him over his clothing choices.” Greenwood entered the NCAA transfer portal in January.The support that Hubbard got for his original tweet is also telling, with both current teammates and former players quickly offering their support of Hubbard’s call for change on social media. “OSU Athletics and University need major change,” wrote recent Oklahoma State alum Justice Hill. “100% support brotha.”
“Can’t stay Silent Anymore! Call a Spade a Spade!!” wrote AJ Green, who played for Gundy just last season.The phrasing of these messages suggests that Gundy’s shirt was not an isolated incident leading to overreaction, but rather a reflection of a larger problem that players in the program have long been aware of.The problems with Gundy’s conduct go beyond his time as a coach. Former NFL Pro Bowler Alfred Williams, who played against Gundy during college at Colorado, told The Oklahoman on Wednesday that Gundy had called him the N-word during a game in 1989.”I remember that it was the first time that the University of Colorado beat Oklahoma State while I was there,” Williams said. “It was a big win. It really was a big win.
“And I remember Mike Gundy called me the N-word. That’s what I remember.”Shannon Sharpe, who played alongside Williams in the NFL, recalled Williams telling him the story on his Fox Sports show “Undisputed.”—UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) June 17, 2020Williams told The Oklahoman that while he wasn’t calling for Gundy to lose his job, he did want an apology from the coach, as well as to see some growth.”I want an apology from him, and I want to see him have some growth,” Williams said. “If he denies that he said [that], I have at least 20 people who will vouch for what happened that day.”
For Gundy to regain the trust of his locker room, it’s clear that he’ll have to go beyond simply apologizing for wearing a shirt. Hubbard made clear that while Gundy’s initial apology was a start, there was still work to be done.”No don’t get it twisted. Foots still on the gas,” Hubbard wrote on Twitter after his video with Gundy. “Results are coming. It’s not over.”Anthony Fauci doubts the NFL will be able to come back unless it adopts a ‘bubble’ similar to the NBA’s restart plan
The NBA’s ‘bubble’ environment will be so strict that playing cards will be thrown out and replaced after every useBelmont Stakes 2020: Post positions and odds for the first race of the Triple CrownEveryone is making the same joke about Chris Paul after learning the NBA bubble will have an anonymous hotline for players to report social-distancing violations