Ravens running back Justice Hill on Monday voiced his support for former Oklahoma State teammate Chuba Hubbard, who tweeted Monday that he “will not be doing anything" at the school "until things CHANGE.”
Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher last season, was responding to a photo of longtime Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy wearing an OAN T-shirt. One America News is a far-right cable news network that has described itself as one of the “greatest supporters” of President Donald Trump.
After Hubbard called out Gundy on Twitter — “I will not stand for this.. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable” — Hill said he supported him “100%.” Another Oklahoma State player, All-Big 12 Conference linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga, also said he stands with Hubbard, joining a chorus of black players across the country who have called attention to issues within their program.
“OSU Athletics and University need major change,” Hill wrote on Twitter.
OAN has come under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks as protests over police brutality and racial inequality have spread across the country. A recent broadcast suggested Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old man who was hospitalized with a head injury after being shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers, had ties to the so-called Antifa movement. Buffalo’s mayor has said he does not believe the officers’ push was “necessary.”
The photo of Gundy, who’s 129-64 in his 15 years at Oklahoma State, was posted Wednesday to a Facebook page managed by Steve Barnes, a fishing guide on Lake Texoma, a reservoir on the Texas-Oklahoma border.
Oklahoma State has declined to comment on the photo. At an April news conference, while discussing the coronavirus pandemic, Gundy said he watches OAN 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 apologized for the remarks, saying in a statement: "It was never my intention to offend anyone. ... My first priority is and will always be the student-athletes and doing what is best for the program and the university.”
Later Monday, Hubbard tweeted a video of Gundy and himself standing together and discussing the tweet and Gundy’s T-shirt, with Gundy saying that he met with some players to talk about “a very sensitive issue with what’s going on in today’s society.”
“I’m looking forward to making some changes and it starts at the top with me," Gundy said. "We’ve got good days ahead.”
“From now on, we’re going to focus on bringing change, and that’s the most important thing,” said Hubbard, who also said he “went about it the wrong way” by tweeting instead of talking to Gundy first. In response, Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills tweeted: “You did nothing wrong. Without public pressure Gundy wouldn’t have flinched. He didn’t even apologize in this video.”
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In a statement, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said: “This afternoon has been very disturbing. The tweets from the current and former players are of grave concern.”