Yesterday brought a whirlwind of events for superstar running back Chuba Hubbard and his Oklahoma State football program. Hubbard took a very strong stance after a photo emerged of head coach Mike Gundy wearing a shirt promoting far-right television network OAN.
“I will not stand for this. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable,” Hubbard tweeted. “I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE.”
Hubbard is one of the most talented returning offensive players in college football. In 2019, he rushed for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns, but opted to return for his senior year. His threatened departure would have been a major blow.
Unlike the similar situation with Dabo Swinney, Gundy didn’t receive a huge groundswell of support by current and former players. Instead, most publicly backed Hubbard. Eventually, the two came together to record a video promising some unspecified “changes” within the program. It is still unclear what that entails, but based on many of the messages from current and former Cowboys, it is clear there are some serious issues bubbling under in Stillwater. Hubbard released a new statement today, vowing again to bring change to his school. His only regret, he says, is that he didn’t confront Gundy directly.
— Chuba Hubbard (@Hubbard_RMN) June 16, 2020
OAN has been under fire this year for spreading some pretty clearly false conspiracies and falls well below the standards for most news organizations. Among the network’s recent invective is calling the Black Lives Matter movement a “criminal organization.”
It seems a lot of you don't quite understand why a major college football coach promoting OAN is a problem.
OAN says Black Lives Matter is "a farce." pic.twitter.com/ZcQ0Y65uMj
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 15, 2020
Chuba Hubbard is clearly aware of the deeply controversial network, and was incensed that his head coach would support it.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone for the support. I will start by saying this; I was never wrong for saying what I said. I am a man, and I realized I should have went to him as a man face to face rather than on Twitter. That’s my opinion. But I had to hold him accountable either way. I am glad things happened the way they did because things are being changed as we speak!
“If anyone truly knows me, they know I am a very passionate person. I care about my family, friends, teammates, and people I don’t even know. I spoke out because I am emotionally drained and I’m tired of seeing stuff happening without results or consequences. I realize I have a platform to generate change and I am trying my best to use it accordingly.
“I am a young black man that wants change. I want change that will bring a better experience for my black brothers and sisters at Oklahoma State. It’s that simple. Over these next few months I have left at Oklahoma State, I will be working EVERYDAY to bring change to this organization and to the world. I will be supported by my teammates along with people within this organization.
“To everyone else, trust me when I say that good will come from this.”
It is a very bold stance for a college football player, but the era of college football players being afraid to speak out on social causes, or even against their coaches and schools, appears to be ending in real time.