'They helped me see through their eyes': Coach apologizes to team after Hubbard's stand
EDMONTON -- Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has apologized to his team, after star player Chuba Hubbard threatened to boycott the season over an image of him wearing a T-shirt supporting a far-right news network.
Gundy issued the apology following a team meeting where players "expressed themselves as individuals and team members."
"They helped me see through their eyes how the T-shirt affected their hearts," Gundy said. "Once I learned how that network felt about Black Lives Matter, I was disgusted and knew it was completely unacceptable to me."
On Monday, Hubbard tweeted it was "unacceptable" and "completely insensitive to everything going on in society" after Gundy was shown in a social media post wearing a shirt with logo of One America News Network.
OAN has been often praised by United States President Donald Trump, most recently for a report claiming 75-year-old Black Lives Matter protester, Martin Gugino, was pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo, with Trump tweeting he was "appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment."
Trump's tweet was criticized as an unfounded conspiracy theory by both Republicans and Democrats.
The network has also criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I want to apologize to all members of our teams, former players and their families for the pain and discomfort that have been caused over the last two days," Gundy said.
Sherwood Park native Hubbard was U.S. college football's leading rusher last season and also the fourth Canadian and first Albertan to gather votes for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the sport's most outstanding player.
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He tweeted his willingness to sit out next season over Gundy's shirt, writing "I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things change.
Hubbard was joined by teammate and fellow Albertan Amen Ogbongbemiga, as well as other OSU players and alumni.
Gundy and Hubbard appeared to have reconciled later Monday in a video posted that evening, with Gundy saying he was "looking forward to making some changes and it starts at the top with me."
On Tuesday, Hubbard tweeted his support for Gundy's apology calling it "a step in the right direction."