Oklahoma Sooners assistant football coach Cale Gundy said on Sunday that he's resigning after saying a "shameful and hurtful" word during a team meeting last week.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Gundy, who was the wide receivers coach at the University of Oklahoma, explained he read a message on his player's iPad after he noticed the player was distracted at a film session.
"The words displayed has nothing to do with football," Gundy wrote. "One particular word that I should never – under any circumstance – have uttered was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I was horrified."
He said the words "were not malicious" and not intentional, but recognized what he said was "shameful and hurtful, no matter my intentions."
"The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so...I take responsibility for my mistake. I apologize," he wrote.
Gundy, who has been an assistant coach at Oklahoma since 1999, said he's stepping down because the team does "not deserve to be distracted by off-the-field matters."
Oklahoma's head football coach Brent Venables, who's in his first year leading the team, said he accepted Gundy's resignation.
"In coaching and in life, we're all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes," Venables said in a statement. "As leaders of this program, it's essential that we hold ourselves to the highest standards as we model for our players the type of men we want them to become."
Neither the Gundy, Venables nor the school elaborated on what the word was.
Some former players spoke out in defense of Gundy, including Cincinnati Bengals running back and former Sooners star Joe Mixon. He said Gundy is "not racist in any way nor has a racist bone in his body, mind, or soul."
"I know racists, I have witnessed both obvious and discreet forms of racism have known and detested even more actual racist. Coach Gundy is the farthest thing from this type of person," he wrote in a statement.
The Sooners finished with an 11-2 record last season and defeated Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
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