And unexpectedly turbulent day for the Oklahoma State football program has culminated in a joint video from coach Mike Gundy and running back Chuba Hubbard.
Gundy, who recently was photographed wearing a One American News T-shirt, spoke first.
“In light of today’s tweet with the T-shirt I was wearing,” Gundy said, “I met with some players and realize it’s a very sensitive issue with what’s going on in today’s society. And so we had a great meeting, and [I was] made aware of some things that players feel like can make our organization, 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.”
Hubbard, who tweeted that “I will not stand for this,” that “[t]his is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable, and that “I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE,” continued the presentation after Gundy finished.
“I’ll start off first by 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 went to him as a man. And I’m all about passion. So that was bad on my part. But from now on, we’re gonna focus on bringing change, and that’s the most important thing.”
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder separately issued a statement: “This afternoon has been very disturbing. The tweets from the current and former players are of grave concern.”
Some in the media have attributed the reaction to Gundy as the latest example of “cancel culture” run amok. While it’s easy, and strategically useful, to blow the same-old dog whistles whenever a stand is taken against someone who has said or done something that merits fair criticism, this isn’t an example of cancel culture. This is an effort by young black men who play football without pay for a multi-millionaire white coach who supports a right-wing media outlet that espouses positions that run contrary to the interests of black Americans to hold their coach accountable.
Hubbard was right to call out Gundy. And Gundy was wrong to wear a T-shirt supporting a news outlet that pegs the needle to the right of FOX News, that traffics in ridiculous and dangerous conspiracy theories, and that employs a host who has called Black Lives Matter a criminal organization. And it’s sad that the video would create the impression that Hubbard is the only one of the two men who is actually sorry for what he did, when Hubbard is the only one of the two who shouldn’t be.