MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Several advocacy groups have released statements regarding West Virginia University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins after he used a homophobic slur during a radio interview Monday morning.
Statements from Morgantown Pride and Fairness WV released Tuesday called Huggins’ statement “unacceptable” and “harmful” and said that especially because he is a public figure, he needs to understand the harm that his words caused to the LGBTQ+ community. “There is no excuse for using that kind of language in the year 2023,” said Fairness WV’s release.
Morgantown Pride’s release called for Huggins’ termination, saying in part:
Morgantown Pride calls for WVU Athletics to at a bare minimum schedule a Safe Zone training for Bob Huggins and the rest of his staff. We believe that this incident requires the termination of Bob Huggins as this type of rhetoric creates a space in which students, community members and most especially players are NOT SAFE.
However, if WVU Athletics chooses the wrong path and does not ask Bob Huggins to resign, the culture that he has obviously cultivated in which individuals feel so comfortable saying homophobic slurs that they would do so whilst being interviewed, requires significant investment of both time and labor to correct.Morgantown Pride press release
Fairness WV offered to help educate WVU’s athletic department but said that it’s ultimately Huggins’ job to “make amends.” The release said in part:
His apology was a good first step, but now he needs to show us that his words are not empty.
One of the most important things Coach Huggins can do right now is to listen to the people he has hurt. Our team will gladly offer our time to help the WVU athletics department learn more about the impact of his comments and to understand the harm that these slurs cause. Ultimately, though, it’s up to Coach Huggins and university officials to make amends and prove to our community they understand the seriousness of this harmful rhetoric.Fairness WV press release
Huggins released an apology statement on Monday, saying in part, “There are consequences for our words and actions, and I 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.”
As of 2:25 p.m. on Tuesday, WVU has not released any information on Huggins’ future with the school’s athletic department or whether disciplinary action will be taken.