Ex-Pro Bowler Alfred Williams recalls 1989 claim that Mike Gundy called him the N-word in college
A few nudges from Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports and the discovery of some old newspaper articles led Alfred Williams, former NFL defender, to pull a heavy skeleton out of the cupboard of the competitive Oklahoma state coach, Mike Gundy, on Wednesday.
During his daily radio show "Big Al & JoJo" on Denver's KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM, Williams repeated a story about Gundy, which he first told reporters in 1989 and which he has not mentioned in three decades.
After a game in which Williams' Colorado team defeated Oklahoma State 41-17, Williams said that Gundy - then Oklahoma State's starting quarter back - responded to a hard hit by calling the future All-Pro the N-word .
It happened towards the end of the game because it was a situation - I don't know if it was a sack or just a hard blow - but I know I got out of the crowd and he ran off the field and he called me the N -Word. So I'm running after him, right? I said, "This is not done."
He told me and I couldn't believe it. So we come to the sideline. My coach at the time was Bob Simmons, who was eventually the head soccer coach in the state of Oklahoma. He says to me: "You are ready for the day." I say: "Oh no, I am not ready for the day." He says: "You are ready for the day." Sideline and that was pretty much all.
Williams had discussed the incident with Sharpe in an earlier phone call, which Fox Sports 1 personality soon shared on "Skip and Shannon: Undisputed". It was this conversation that prompted Williams to discuss an issue he deviated from a long time ago.
Gundy denied the N-word accusation in 1989
After Sharpe told the story on the air, it didn't take long for Twitter users to discover old newspaper articles in which the then 21-year-old Williams discussed the incident. Colorado Free Security Tim James also accused Gundy of having used the word repeatedly.
"I can't count the number of times he used that word," said James, according to the clip. "He has no class. There is no place for that in sports. "
Gundy denied the allegation in the same article, saying it was not true, and found that half of his friends on the team were black.
"Go to Sports Illustrated and you'll see that Colorado has faced everything. Rape, attacks. Everything," said Gundy.
Mike Gundy had praised an extreme right network as balanced two months ago. (AP Photo / Sue Ogrocki)
Gundy apologized for the OAN t-shirt after the player's outcry
Such a story is obviously remarkable given the current situation in which Gundy finds himself. The coach released a script apology video on Tuesday after his players' outcry over a One America News Network t-shirt and unspecified cultural issues in Stillwater.
Gundy just spoke of the t-shirt promoting a far-right network that the Black Lives Matter movement described as farce and worse, and said he was "disgusted" with the network's stance on movement and called it "totally unacceptable".
Gundy had already praised the network in April and claimed that the network was moderate and unpopinionized.
"It was so refreshing," said Gundy in a conference call. "They only report the news. There is no comment. There are no opinions. There is none left. There is no right. "
Alfred Williams: "Why should I lie?"
In the discussion of the 1989 incident on Wednesday, Williams mentioned that he and his co-host had been considering discussing it for the past three days while Gundy made national headlines but only raised him after joining Fox Sports had been mentioned.
To review the story, Williams said he should speak to his old trainer in Simmons. Or any player in the Colorado defense:
All of my teammates who played in defense at the University of Colorado know exactly what happened. There is no going back. This story has been around for 31 years. I don't know why it showed up now. Because he's wearing an OAN t-shirt? OK, but I never told the story on the air because it happened decades ago. But it happened, it happened 100 percent. This is the only time in my life that this has ever happened. In my life. I played soccer for a long time. Much longer when he played football. And that's the only time it ever happened.
Williams later made a nine-year career in the NFL, winning all-pro honors and two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos. Gundy's career as a player ended in Oklahoma State.
As for those who couldn't believe his story, Williams said he moved on after it happened and he doesn't think that if Gundy is a head coach, it would do any good:
Why in the world should I lie about something like that? I haven't even aired this story for that reason, because I thought it would only harm the state of Oklahoma as a university. I thought it would harm all the young men who were part of the program. I said my play in 1989 ... I am 51 years old; Why in the world do I have to lie about it?
Although Williams said he had continued from the incident, it didn't mean that he still has certain feelings about Gundy:
Every time I see him I just want to run through him. Every time I see his face, every time I look at him, I want to run through him.
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