Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has been embroiled in controversy this week after he was photographed wearing a t-shirt promoting the far-right One America News Network amid the ongoing national movement for racial justice. Fascinatingly enough, ESPN has been filming a behind-the-scenes look at the Cowboys program this whole time. Move over, “Last Dance”!
The Worldwide Leader was apparently filming a previously unannounced all-access series about the OSU football program, and they surely got a major gift when star running back Chuba Hubbard fiercely called out Gundy’s support for OAN on Twitter and declared he’d have no involvement with the program unless major changes took place. Several other Oklahoma State players and alumni supported Hubbard’s pushback, and Gundy later apologized in a joint video statement alongside Hubbard.
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 18, 2020
The series was meant to mimic the “Miles to Go” series that ESPN filmed with the Kansas football team under head coach Les Miles last season, but we’re willing to bet that this series is going to go in a whole different direction after everything that Gundy has been involved with recently.
In his apology, Gundy claimed that he was not aware of OAN’s negative stance on the Black Lives Matter Movement, nor the network’s reputation for giving a platform to extreme right-wing conspiracy theories.
However, it must be noted that Gundy has been previously accused of using racist language during a game in 1989 while he played quarterback for Oklahoma State, and there has been widespread criticism online for his apology video with Hubbard.
Alfred Williams reiterates claim that Mike Gundy used racial slur during Colorado-Oklahoma State game in 1989; “I didn’t back down then, I don’t back down now. . . . Every time I see him, I just want to run through him.” https://t.co/APA1zPzwFQ
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 18, 2020
With racial justice movements sweeping across all 50 US states, Gundy is going to have a lot to answer for both publicly and in the locker room with a team of mostly black athletes. If ESPN truly has unlimited behind-the-scenes access, their documentary is going to be scintillating stuff.
From how Gundy and Hubbard’s apology video unfolded to how the program will move forward with a controversial leader, there certainly isn’t going to be any lack of fireworks. This thing can’t come out soon enough.