STILLWATER — One of Oklahoma State’s top returning players sent shockwaves through Twitter on Monday afternoon by responding to a photo of OSU football coach Mike Gundy.
OSU running back Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s leading returning rusher, tweeted: “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 was responding to a photo of Gundy wearing an OAN shirt. OAN (One America News Network) is a pro-Trump cable news channel.
Hubbard, a Canadian citizen, has been more active on social media since George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police while under the knee of an officer. Hubbard has been supportive of protests around the world.
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.”
However, Hubbard sent out a video later on Monday with he and Gundy addressing the day’s events on social media, with Hubbard apologizing for utilizing his platform on Twitter to address his concerns.
“I’ll start off by first saying that I went about it the wrong way by tweeting,” Hubbard said. “I’m not someone that has to tweet something to make change, I should have gone to him as a man, and I’m more about action.
“So that was bad on my part. But for now on, we’re going to focus on bringing change, and that’s the most important thing.”
Gundy began the video by mentioning that he met with several players to discuss the photo of the Cowboys coach wearing the specific shirt.
“In light of today’s tweet with the T-shirt I was wearing, I met with some players and realize it’s a very sensitive issue going on today in society,” Gundy said. “So we had a great meeting and was made aware of some things that players feel like can make our organization and our culture even better than it is here at Oklahoma State.
“And I’m looking forward to making some changes, and it starts at the top with me. And we’ve got good days ahead.”
Following the release of the video, with a mix of reactions replying to his tweet, Hubbard wrapped up with a follow up message.
“No don’t get it twisted. Foots still on the gas,” the tweet read. “Results are coming. It’s not over.”
Recent OSU graduate Kemah Siverand saw change within the video.
He tweeted out, “ONLY the real know, since they let my dawg wear his durag in the video, a CHANGE is DEFINITELY coming!”
Earlier Monday afternoon, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis issued a statement stating “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.”
Shortly thereafter, OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder put out his own statement.
“This afternoon has been very disturbing,” Holder said. “The tweets from the current and former players are of grave concern.”
Gundy mentioned the Floyd situation in a statement on Twitter on May 31: “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.
Stillwater NewsPress editor Jason Elmquist and staff writer Jimmy Gillispie contributed to this report along with Cliff Brunt of The Associated Press and Enid News & Eagle Sports Editor Dave Ruthenberg.