Former NFL player Alfred Williams has renewed a claim that embattled Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy twice called him the N-word when their college teams played in a 1989 game, the Oklahoman reported.
Gundy is already under fire in the wake of OSU star running back Chuba Hubbard saying he'd boycott his team after a CBS Sports reporter shared a photo of Gundy wearing a T-shirt bearing the insignia of controversial conservative news outlet OAN, or One America News. Later, Gundy and Hubbard posted a joint video statement featuring the coach promising changes and the player apologizing for the way he handled the situation.
The coach also issued a second apology video Tuesday:
OSU Coach Mike Gundy apologizes in video for wearing controversial t-shirt youtu.be
What are the details of Williams' allegation?
Williams was an All-American linebacker for the University of Colorado, and Gundy was the quarterback for Oklahoma State. Williams— now 51 — was one of several Colorado players who, after their 41-17 win, said Gundy used the racial slur, ESPN reported.
"I remember that it was the first time that the University of Colorado beat Oklahoma State while I was there," Williams told the Oklahoman in a phone interview Wednesday night. "It was a big win. It really was a big win. And I remember Mike Gundy called me the N-word. That's what I remember."
Williams said Gundy called him the N-word while he was walking off the OSU field before halftime and during the second half, the paper said.
More from the paper:
The Daily Oklahoman's story from Nov. 12, 1989, addressed the accusations in the bottom half of the game story with six paragraphs, including Colorado's Kanavis McGhee, Bruce Young and Okland Salavea all joining Williams in saying Gundy used racial comments.
"He said it to me and a couple of other guys on the field," McGhee said at the time. "It got me real upset. Here's a guy in the spotlight all the time, to say something like that is not cool at all. All it did was fire us up."
Gundy emphatically denied the accusations to The Daily Oklahoman reporter Mac Bentley.
"I didn't say it," Gundy said. "It's just not true. I've been here four years, and well over half of my friends are black. I just did not say that; I wouldn't say something like that."
The Oklahoman said an OSU official declined comment on the renewed allegation Wednesday night. ESPN said Gundy hasn't addressed Williams' latest allegation, and a spokesperson told the sports network Thursday that Oklahoma State's athletic department would have no comment at this time.
What else did Williams say?
Williams told the Oklahoman that Wednesday was the first time he'd seen Gundy's response after the 1989 game, and that brought up painful memories.
"I want an apology from him, and I want to see him have some growth," Williams told the paper, adding that he doesn't want Gundy fired. "If he denies that he said [that], I have at least 20 people who will vouch for what happened that day. I'm a little upset, because after 31 years I finally saw the story published in your papers out in Oklahoma. That was the first time I saw some of the responses to what I said. In the St. Louis Dispatch he said, 'Look at the University of Colorado and its players. They got rapists.'"
Sports Illustrated in February 1989 examined the rise in crime connected to Colorado players as the program improved on the field, the Oklahoman noted.
"Wait a minute," Williams shot back to the paper. "What does that have to do with Alfred Williams or anything? I'm not part of any one of those SI stories, or I wasn't part of anything like that. As a matter of fact, I'm part of the College Football Hall of Fame. So why would I be part of anything that is dishonorable? The fact that he tried to discredit me, it's 31 years later, and I just saw the article for the first time today, so, yeah, I'm a little upset."
He also told the Oklahoman that he's discouraged at least four high school coaches of college recruits from sending their players to OSU — and all of them chose other schools.
Williams added to the paper that he was surprised when Gundy was promoted to head coach 15 years ago.
"It's incredible, right, because the way I look at it was Oklahoma State must have done their due diligence before hiring him and thought he was an appropriate coach for them after everything that was alleged by me and validated by my teammates," he recounted to the Oklahoman. "They still hired him, so whatever."
Williams went on to play for the Denver Broncos, which won two Super Bowls during his career, the Oklahoman said, adding that he's spent the past 17 years as a broadcaster.