Chuba Hubbard, the nation's leading rusher last season, will resume football activities after tweeting 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."
Hubbard received support from multiple teammates and former players, but after the university president and athletic director both issued statements expressing concern, the running back posted a video of himself and Gundy in which the two shook hands.
"In light of today's tweet with the T-shirt that I was wearing, I met with some players and realize it's a very sensitive issue with what's going on in today's society," Gundy said in the video. "And so, we had a great meeting. [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. I'm looking forward to making some changes, and it starts at the top with me. And we've got good days ahead."
Hubbard then said he had gone "about it the wrong way by tweeting" and added that "from now on we're gonna focus on bringing change, and that's the most important thing."
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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 his 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."
"By voicing our opinion we are happy to have came to a conclusion and opened a gateway to create some serious CHANGE around Oklahoma State. My teammates and I have all agreed we will go ahead and resume all workouts and activities," he wrote. "We're all in this together."
The photo of Gundy was posted on Facebook and shared on Twitter by CBS Sports writer Kyle Boone.
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. https://t.co/psxPn4Khoq— Chuba Hubbard (@Hubbard_RMN) June 15, 2020
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.
After Hubbard's initial post, senior Teven Jenkins tweeted that the OSU offensive line stands with him, and soon after, former Oklahoma State players Justice Hill of the Baltimore Ravens and A.J. Green of the Cleveland Browns followed suit.
Can't stay Silent Anymore! Call a Spade a Spade!! https://t.co/Ya8xTYIwEr— AJ Green III (@AjGofor6) June 15, 2020
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."
Houston Texans receiver Kenny Stills, who played at OSU rival Oklahoma, expressed displeasure with how the situation was resolved, tweeting to Hubbard: "You did nothing wrong. Without public pressure Gundy wouldn't have flinched. He didn't even apologize in this video."
Hubbard later tweeted: "No don't get it twisted. Foots still on the gas. Results are coming. It's not over."
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."