Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher last season, tweeted Monday that he “will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE” in response to a photo of coach Mike Gundy wearing an OAN T-shirt.
“I will not stand for this,” Hubbard posted on the day Cowboys players were scheduled to begin voluntary workouts on campus. “This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable.”
OAN stands for One America News, a far-right news network that has been known to promote conspiracy theories and is often cited by President Donald Trump. The network, which has a fraction of the audience of Fox News, has tried to position itself as a place for a pro-Trump audience that believes other conservative news outlets have become too mainstream in their reporting.
Some on-air network commentators have been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, which Hubbard has repeatedly shared his support of on social media.
“I hear and respect the concerns expressed by our Black student-athletes,” Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis said in a statement Monday in response to Hubbard’s tweet. “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.”
The photo of Gundy was posted on Facebook and shared on Twitter by CBS Sports writer Kyle Boone.
Hubbard, a redshirt junior from Alberta, Canada, rushed for 2,094 yards last season and was a first-team All-American and the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Senior OL Teven Jenkins tweeted that the OSU offensive line stands with Hubbard, and senior linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga also tweeted his support.
Not long after, former Oklahoma State players Justice Hill of the Baltimore Ravens and A.J. Green of the Cleveland Browns followed suit.
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder released a statement later Monday that read: “This afternoon has been very disturbing. The tweets from the current and former players are of grave concern.”
While talking about the coronavirus pandemic during an April news conference, Gundy expressed displeasure with the “mainstream media” and said he watches One America News because “they just report the news” without commentary.
“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.”
He later issued a statement saying, “I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some. 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.”