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College football: OSU's Chuba Hubbard, OU's Spencer Rattler among players supporting 'We Want To Play' movement

Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard (30) was one of a dozen college football stars who ignited the "We Want To Play" movement on Sunday. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]
Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard (30) was one of a dozen college football stars who ignited the "We Want To Play" movement on Sunday. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Chuba Hubbard found reason to break his social media silence.

The Oklahoma State running back wants to play football this fall.

Hubbard, according to a report from Yahoo, was one of a dozen college football players who took part in a Zoom call on Sunday that sparked the biggest player movement toward keeping the 2020 season afloat.

“We Want To Play.”

That phrase, in Twitter hashtag form, began to spread, along with a graphic designed by one of the players on that critical Zoom call, that calls for uniform COVID-19 procedures for players, eligibility and opt-out protections, and the formation of a players’ association.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence tweeted the graphic and hashtag around 10 p.m. Sunday. Hubbard and the others from the Zoom call posted as well, and the movement began to spread.

Hubbard had been silent on Twitter for nearly three weeks when he said it had become a “playground for hate,” in the aftermath of his use of the platform to speak on social justice issues.

But his desire to play football brought him back, tweeting the hashtag and graphic with the following contents:

• We all want to play football this season.

• Establish universal mandated health and safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.

• Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision.

• Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.

• Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials; ultimately create a college football players association.

• Representative of the players of all Power 5 conferences.

Some of Hubbard’s teammates at OSU, including quarterback Spencer Sanders joined in on the movement. Oklahoma players such as quarterback Spencer Rattler and center Creed Humphrey joined as well.

“I’m fully aware of the risks I’m taking to play in the fall. I’m completely fine taking those risks,” Humphrey wrote, followed by the hotly trending hashtag.

Rattler added something more.

“We NEED football, the country NEEDS football! We understand the precautions we have to take every single day for this to happen and we are more than willing to do that. There’s been too much hard work put in to bring everything to a halt,” he wrote Monday.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences each had groups of players unite to voice their demands for the season via the Players’ Tribune last week. The latest movement ignited with representatives from each of the Power 5 conferences. It included star power the likes of Hubbard, Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Alabama running back Najee Harris, plus other notables, according to Yahoo.

Dee Anderson, who is in his first preseason camp at Oklahoma State as a graduate transfer from LSU, offered a stark but realistic take on the We Want To Play movement.

“Ain’t no Plan B. This the only plan some of us got. This the only blueprint,” he wrote on Twitter.

President Donald Trump chimed in with his support for the movement.

More importantly, college football coaches began to stand in support of their players.

All this comes days after the Mid-American Conference became the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference to cancel its season.

Over the weekend, reports circulated from a variety of outlets that Big Ten leadership would favor canceling its season as well.

But Nebraska coach Scott Frost said his program would still consider playing the season even if the Big Ten voted it down.

"We're a proud member of the Big Ten," Frost said during a Zoom teleconference with reporters on Monday. "We want to play a Big Ten schedule. I think the only reason we would look at any other options is if for some reason the Big Ten wasn't playing and only a handful of teams from the Big Ten wanted to continue playing. I think if that's the case, I think we're prepared to look at any and all options.

“I know where our university president stands and he wants to play.”



Sources: Big Ten presidents vote to cancel football season. Page B5

Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›