CBS Sports writer Kyle Boone on Monday tweeted a picture of Oklahoma State University Football Coach Mike Gundy wearing a One America News t-shirt while out fishing (because, apparently, people in sports are somehow not allowed to have political opinions). One of Gundy's players, runningback Chuba Hubbard, took issue with the picture, saying he refused to have any association with the university until there is some form of change.
Mike Gundy went fishing on Lake Texoma donning an OAN t-shirt pic.twitter.com/gq9c2I6HGl— Kyle Boone @ ?? (@Kyle__Boone) June 15, 2020
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
This sparked a Twitter debate: should people in Gundy's position have the ability to express themselves politically?
BREAKING: @Kaepernick7 wears a Fidel Castro shirt for an interview....nothing— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) June 15, 2020
Gundy wears an @OANN shirt and the world loses its mind and a running back I’ve never heard of threatens to quit!?
Weakest generation EVER!!
Coach Gundy should tell this player that as long as he's the head coach, the team will support freedom of speech and thought for ALL and if he has a problem with it, he can go play for a different team. https://t.co/saXfu1enZn— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) June 15, 2020
It’s not about censorship or snowflakes. It’s about self-awareness. You coach Big 12 football. Your job is to lead & develop young men, most of them black. They’re living history right now—and you, their leader, think it’s cool to get photographed wearing OAN gear? Gtfoh. #gundy— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) June 16, 2020
And nope, this ain’t cancel culture. I don’t want Gundy fired. I want him to grow. The man’s job depends on sitting inside black family rooms and convincing parents that he cares about their sons. It would help if he understood what this moment in history means to them.— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) June 16, 2020
I was hard on Dabo because I know Dabo better & because I spend a lot of time covering Clemson.— Hi, I’m David (@ADavidHaleJoint) June 15, 2020
But Dabo picks a less-than-ideal t-shirt, players rally behind him.
Gundy wears one, and the floodgates open.
Tells you a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in each place.
For those incapable of understanding the Mike Gundy t-shirt problem: he makes millions off the backs of black kids he sells his program to that have dealt with what is being protested. He wears shirt promoting a network that said on air the BLM movement is "a farce" Get it, yet?— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) June 16, 2020
OSU President Burn Hargis said the university plans to "confront inequities and injustice."
I hear and respect the concerns expressed by our Black student-athletes. 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.— Burns Hargis (@burnshargis) June 15, 2020
Hubbard and Gundy then released a video. Hubbard apologized for taking to Twitter to air his grievances instead of taking them directly to the coach.
Change is coming I promise you that. pic.twitter.com/wTGHtByh3N— Chuba Hubbard (@Hubbard_RMN) June 15, 2020
This shouldn't be an issue. At all. Gundy is allowed to have his own political opinions. He's allowed to support whatever news organization he wants, regardless of if it's left or right. Our cancel culture is coming after him because he's conservative. If this was an MSNBC or CNN shirt would people be upset? Doubt it.
Bending a knee to the rage mob just makes them more powerful. I applaud Hubbard for owning up to his mistake and jumping to conclusions before talking to Gundy in person. That's the sign of maturity. Sadly, our country lacks grace.