We need to talk about Cale Gundy.
The University of Oklahoma WR coach, who has spent 28 of the last 32 years either playing for or coaching at Oklahoma, abruptly resigned this weekend after using the n word in a team meeting.
Gundy says he noticed a player not paying attention in a team meeting, and he took the players’ iPad and read what was on the screen out loud.
According to Gundy, it was not intentional, and he immediately apologized.
Before we get into whether Cale Gundy should still have a job, we need to acknowledge some universal truths:
1) White people shouldn’t be saying that word. Ever.
2) White people that want to have a conversation in my mentions about whether it’s a double standard that black people can use that word need to stop wasting time and energy and refer back to number one.
If you didn’t want us to have that word for ourselves, then your ancestors shouldn’t have given it to us. Throw a seance and take it up with them.
How and when that word is used now is black people’s business. You don’t own the issue, and going out of your way to try and own the issue makes it seem like that’s not the only thing you wish you owned.
3) Of course intent matters, but that’s not Cletus or Billy Bob to adjudicate. This is an issue for the current black players and black alumni to sort out- not just about whether Clay Gundy should continue to coach, but whether he’ll continue to be a presence in their lives.
I believe in second chances, but I’m not in the Oklahoma receivers room.
Joe Mixon, who is enjoying his NFL career right now after receiving a pretty big second chance himself, wrote an impassioned letter defending Gundy.
Many others seemed to rush to Gundy’s defense, but Gundy has decided for himself, unless there’s some internal pressure from Oklahoma that we haven’t heard about, that he needs to step away from his role.
Cale Gundy is taking accountability for his mistake on a much deeper level than Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has, or Former TCU Head Coach and current Texas assistant Gary Patterson, or even his own brother Mike Gundy, who reportedly used that language maliciously toward University of Colorado players back in his playing days at Oklahoma State.
At this point, instances of white coaches using the n word has happened frequently enough that it’s time for football coaches to do the thing they’re best known for- prepare and plan.
I realize that in Gundy’s case, if you believe him, you can’t prepare for a Ron Burgundy teleprompter moment, but for the rest of the white coaches out there, it’s time to take note of this trend and train your mouths and minds on what might cost you your career, divide your fan base, your locker room, and negatively affect your university’s ability to recruit.
Let that sink in.