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Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy called himself a “dumbass” for wearing a T-shirt promoting a far-right wing cable news network.
Gundy continued his apology tour for wearing the shirt promoting One America News in an interview with ESPN as the network’s streaming service is planning a behind-the-scenes show about Oklahoma State football this fall. In the interview with ESPN, Gundy again said he was unaware of the positions the network has taken on a number of issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the baseless theory that the man pushed by police in Buffalo was a member of antifa.
“I didn’t know some of the stances they had taken. I didn’t know that,” Gundy said. “But then you look at it and say, ‘OK, I was a dumbass.’ I put the shirt on not knowing enough about the shirt. I understood exactly why the players got frustrated when they found that out, or whatever however they found out what it was. I didn’t know. I didn’t know until the next day. Well I knew that night but I didn’t confirm it until I did a little research and I was like, ‘What a dumbass.’ ”
In his Tuesday apology video, Gundy said he was “disgusted” after allegedly recently finding out the network’s stance on BLM. It was a head-scratching comment given that Gundy previously talked up how great he thought OAN was in April and apparently liked the network so much that he would wear a shirt promoting it.
After a picture of Gundy wearing the shirt on a June 10 fishing trip made the rounds on social media, star running back Chuba Hubbard said he wouldn’t participate in workouts at Oklahoma State until things changed. Hubbard immediately got the support of teammates and former players after his tweet.
A video later that day with Gundy and Hubbard included Gundy saying changes would be made within the Oklahoma State program and Hubbard doing the apologizing for tweeting his thoughts and not expressing them in a different manner.
As the friction between Gundy and Hubbard and other players was in the news this week, a former Colorado player spoke out Wednesday about allegations made against Gundy in 1989. College Football Hall of Famer Alfred Williams reiterated that Gundy called him the N-word in a game 31 years ago. The allegations first appeared in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article immediately after the game was played.
‘Work in progress’
In an interview with ESPN on Thursday morning, Hubbard said his relationship with his coach was a “work in progress.” Hubbard was the leading rusher in college football in 2019 and elected to return to Stillwater for his senior season instead of going to the NFL draft.
“Obviously, [when] that video came out, a lot of people thought everything’s good now. That’s not the case. It’s a work in progress,” Hubbard said via 24/7 Sports. “I wanted that video to be a first step showing that he understands what he did wrong and he needs to move forward. If not, then there’s consequences from those things.”
It’s highly, highly doubtful that the changes to the Oklahoma State football program that Gundy and multiple players have mentioned include only Gundy no longer wearing a shirt promoting a conspiracy theory-laden fringe cable news network that’s enjoyed a lot more attention than it typically gets thanks to Gundy and President Donald Trump’s promotion. And continuing to focus on the shirt can gloss over the tangible things that players inside the program want done to make things better for themselves and the players who will come after them.
Just consider what Hubbard told ESPN in the same video clip as Gundy’s “dumbass” comment. Hubbard said in an interview for the ESPN+ series that he was going to do his best to continue to educate Gundy on serious issues.
“I heard from Coach Gundy later that day,” Hubbard said of Monday. “We talked for about two hours … and he said some stuff and I realized that some people may be ignorant in the facts and some people may just not understand the seriousness of what’s going on. And some people need to be educated. And whether I can depict what’s going on with him, or whatever, I’m going to do my best to educate him and do my best to make Oklahoma State a better program for all athletes.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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