WVU Professor on Bob Huggins’ Use of Anti-Gay Slur: ‘It Saddens Me’
Bob Huggins’ use of an anti-gay slur during a radio appearance has sparked a reaction that’s led to much outrage and debate.
Some are angered to hear someone so distinguished in his craft speak in such a derogatory manner about a group of people. Others are more sympathetic and hoping Huggins gets a chance to redeem himself.
To this point, we have heard the audio of what the Basketball Hall of Famer said, we have read statements from WVU Athletics and one with an apology from Huggins himself. But now it’s time to get the thoughts of faculty at the university and those who have been spreading awareness as an activists of LGBTQ+ causes.
When asked for a comment, tenured communication studies professor of 19 years Daniel Brewster had this to say:
“I think that sports often times cultivate a culture of homophobia and transphobia. The host(s) repeatedly laughed and then made a comment about ‘transgender night’ capitalizing on the transphobia that is rampant right now across our society. Coach Huggins sadly took the bait and spouted off a quick homophobic response. Growing up I repeatedly heard comments of that nature from teachers and coaches, it saddens me that the response and comment to the host came so easily to him.”
Another professor at WVU and the former vice president of podcasting at iHeart and director of content at Stitcher Matty Staudt offered a plan to use this situation as a learning experience for both Huggins and the community as a whole.
“If I or any other WVU employee said that, we would be gone. But, instead of firing him, I think the right thing to do is have him sit down with a group of LBGTQ students and listen to them so that he can truly understand why that word is never ok. Most people who use words like that do it out of ignorance due to not spending time or having real friends who are gay and will share their struggles,” said Staudt.
“The memo is certainly not enough and he has some bridges to mend with the community. I am more outraged on how this has caused WVU fans to not only support him, but support the use of that word. We still have a long way to go.”
WVSN also reached out to the LGBTQ+ Center at West Virginia University, but the its director Ellen Rodrigues stated the organization would not be commenting at this time.
However, Morgantown Pride, a nonprofit that provides social and educational resources for the LGBTQ+ community, friends and allies in and around Morgantown, West Virginia, did post a statement of their own on Twitter. They are calling for Huggins to resign.
We at Morgantown Proud are calling for the immediate resignation of @CoachHuggs due to his homophobic rhetoric and behavior. Our full statement can be found below. pic.twitter.com/gLvicfRmCW
— MorgantownPride (@motownwvpride) May 9, 2023
A situation like this is destined to generate interest no matter how it’s handled. Time will tell what this incident does to the perception of Huggins’ legacy, both among West Virginia fans and around the country.
Keep up with WV Sports Now for more on this developing story.