Oklahoma State forms 'Council for Diversity and Inclusion' after recent Mike Gundy controversy

A little more than a week after star running back Chuba Hubbard called out football coach Mike Gundy for being “insensitive,” Oklahoma State’s athletic department announced plans to form a “Diversity and Inclusion Council.”

Oklahoma State announced the initiative Wednesday with Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, the university’s Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer, leading the way. 

"OSU is a land-grant institution with an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion," Kirksey said in a university press release. "Over the past decade, OSU has emerged as a national leader and a role model across higher education and beyond. While we still have work to do, the establishment of athletics' Council For Diversity and Inclusion is a significant and genuine effort to broaden and deepen the university's commitment to a culture of inclusion.”

Added Oklahoma State deputy athletic director Chad Weiberg: “We are grateful that Dr. Kirksey has agreed to lead our efforts moving forward. The athletic department could make a lot of promises and declarations about what we will be doing, but our future actions will speak for us. Under Dr. Kirksey's leadership, we will be very intentional in our efforts, but our driving goal will be to get better."

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 7 : A general view of the stadium during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs November 7, 2015 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Horned Frogs 49-29. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Chuba Hubbard calls Mike Gundy ‘insensitive’

On June 15, Hubbard tweeted a photo of Gundy wearing a t-shirt with the logo for One America News on it. OAN is known for pushing far-right conspiracy theories and recently had a host describe the Black Lives Matter movement as a “farce.” In his tweet, Hubbard said Gundy wearing the shirt was “insensitive to everything going on in society” and “unacceptable.” He also suggested he would not participate in any activities for OSU “until things change.”

Soon after, Gundy apologized and said he was unfamiliar with OAN’s views on Black Lives Matter. Gundy, though, had previously praised OAN’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It was so refreshing. They just report the news. There’s no commentary. There’s no opinions. There’s no left. There’s no right,” Gundy said in April. 

Other players backed Hubbard when he spoke out and recent reporting by Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel showed that the discontent with Gundy was “about way more than a T-shirt.”

“Chuba didn’t risk everything because of what channel Gundy watches. It was a lack of general respect for the well-being of the players,” a source told Thamel. 

In a statement to Yahoo Sports, Gundy said he has had “a lot of teachable moments recently.”

“When the players said they felt I was disconnected, it broke my heart. Hearing that led me to look at myself and acknowledge that it’s probably true,” Gundy told Yahoo Sports. “I’ve spent a lot of time listening and learning lately, and now I feel better about moving forward in developing deeper relationships with my players. That’s what they told me they wanted and that’s now a top priority for me.”

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