West Virginia coach Bob Huggins says he’s ‘ashamed, embarrassed’ after homophobic slur

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West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins made a homophobic slur on a Cincinnati radio station on Monday and later issued a statement of apology.

In discussing the University of Cincinnati’s crosstown rivalry with Xavier University, Huggins called Xavier fans “Catholic f--s.”

Huggins’ statement was soon posted on his Twitter account, @CoachHuggs.

“Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program I was asked about the rivalry about my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University. During the conversation I used a complete insensitive and abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for—and I won’t try to make one here. I deeply apologize to the individuals I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University. As I have shared with my players over 40 years of coaching there are consequences for our words and our actions and will fully accept any coming my way. I am ashamed and embarrassed and heartbroken for those I have hurt. I must do better, and I will.”

Huggins coached at Cincinnati from 1989-2005. After a year off, he became the head coach at Kansas State for one season before taking over at West Virginia. The Mountaineers joined the Big 12 in 2012 and Cincinnati will join the Big 12 this year.

Huggins was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.

West Virginia issued a statement of its own Monday afternoon:

“Coach Huggins’ remarks today on a Cincinnati radio show were insensitive, offensive and do not represent our University values. Coach Huggins has since apologized. West Virginia University does not condone the use of such language and takes such actions very seriously. The situation is under review and will be addressed by the University and its athletics department.”

A former Cincinnati city councilman, Chris Seelbach, responded to Huggins and asked for a meeting through his Twitter account @ChrisSeelbach:

“40% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously consider suicide because of this backward nonsense. I’m a Xavier graduate. I’m Catholic. I’m gay. Hey @Coach Huggs, howabout a meeting between you, me, and some other “Catholic fags”? Do you have the courage?”

The slur was the second on-air in sports over the past few days. On Friday in Kansas City, during a pre-game show at Kauffman Stadium, Oakland A’s broadcaster Glen Kuiper said he’d made a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum — but he used a racial slur instead of the word Negro.

The A’s issued an apology through the team’s communication department after the game.

“The language used by Glen Kuiper during today’s pregame broadcast is unacceptable,” the Oakland club wrote. ”The Oakland Athletics do not condone such language. We are working to address the situation.”