Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy issued a one-minute apology Tuesday evening, one day after a photo of the 52-year-old head coach wearing a One America News network T-shirt sparked outrage amongst his players.
"Once I learned how that network (OAN) felt about Black Lives Matter, I was disgusted and knew it was completely unacceptable to me," Gundy said. "I want to apologize to all members of our team, former players and their families, for the pain and discomfort that has been caused over the last two days. Black lives matter to me. Our players matter to me...
"...I sincerely hope the Oklahoma State family, near and far, will accept my humble apology as we move forward."
Gundy's apology comes one day after Oklahoma State star running back Chuba Hubbard said he "will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE" in response to a photo of Gundy wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of OAN, a conservative news network that has promoted unfounded conspiracies.
Hubbard quote tweeted a photo of Gundy fishing while wearing the shirt for the right-wing network: "I will not stand for this. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it's unacceptable."
A number of Hubbard's teammates echoed the star running back's initial remarks.
On Monday night, Gundy appeared in a video where he said he met with players who were critical of the shirt and said he is "looking forward to making some changes." In the same video, Hubbard embraced Gundy and said "that was bad on my part" for taking to social media to address his coach.
Earlier Tuesday, Hubbard published a lengthy statement on Twitter in which he said he regretted singling out Gundy on social media rather than raising the issue in person.
"I was never wrong for saying what I said," he wrote. "I am a man, and I realized I should have went to him as a man face to face rather than on twitter...But I had to hold him accountable either way."
While Gundy acknowledged issues involving the network in his Tuesday apology, in April, Gundy praised the network publicly in a press conference in which he discussed potential return-to-play options amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout his comments, Gundy included three references to the “mainstream media” and another to the “national media,” criticizing the lack of positivity in news coverage and too much “finger pointing.”
He went on to describe OAN's coverage as "refreshing."
"They just report the news," Gundy said in April. "There’s no commentary. There’s no opinions. There’s no left. There’s no right.”
Hubbard, a 2019 Doak Walker Award finalist, an honor given to the best running back in college football, weighed in on Gundy's apology that was released Tuesday evening, tweeting, "A step in the right direction."
Cowboys linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga, the first Oklahoma State player to publicly support Hubbard's initial comments, also addressed Gundy's apology, writing, "This took a lot of courage. Respect."