Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is finding it difficult to backtrack from his controversial support of far-right media organization One America News Network (OAN) or overcome accusations of past racially coded comments aimed at former players.
A picture of Gundy wearing an OAN shirt emerged last week and prompted many members his team to speak out against him on social media. OAN is anti-Black Lives Matter and regularly peddles conspiracy theories.
Following the picture incident, Gundy appeared in a video with running back Chuba Hubbard in which he walked back his support of OAN and pledged changes in his program. OAN isn’t letting him distance himself without a fight, though, keeping a story the coach would like to put past him.
On Saturday, OAN correspondent Chanel Rion wore an Oklahoma State shirt to a Tulsa, Okla., rally for president Donald Trump in a not-so-subtle nod to Gundy. She also called out Gundy on Twitter.
Even after Gundy appeared in the video with Hubbard to cool tensions last week, it’s possible hard feelings could linger. While criticism from his active players died down, former players seemed unconvinced Gundy was really willing to change his approach to racial issues.
Racial inequality — specifically in regards to police use of force — has been a central issue in the U.S. over the past month, leading droves of people into the street to protest. The movement has inspired student-athletes across the country to speak up about how their schools make black students feel.