West Virginia lets Bob Huggins off the hook too easily after anti-gay slur

Still employed, just making less

West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins will reportedly keep his job after uttering an anti-gay slur on a Cincinnati radio show. He will instead be penalized in the form of a $1 million reduction in salary, and will need to take sensitivity training.

While $1 million may sound like a lot, he will still make $3.2 million this year, which is $3.2 million more than he should make. The decision to fire Huggins should’ve been a no-brainer and the fact that the administration took two days to arrive at this slap on the wrist is embarrassing.

“The deplorable, mischaracterization, and homophobic slurs directed towards our LGBTQ+ and our Catholic communities were repulsive and offensive,” Xavier president Colleen Hanycz said Wednesday.

Over the past couple of days of speculating whether or not Huggins would get fired, I’ve heard this sentiment come from multiple people: “He should make the situation easy and just resign.”

As far as I’m concerned, calling Xavier University fans “Catholic f**s” while knowingly being broadcast on the radio might as well have been his resignation letter. You just can’t do that if you’re a public figure and expect to keep your job. Bob Huggins knows that. And we know he knows that because in 2020 he had former Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brennaman talk to his team about accountability.

Brennaman was notably fired after being caught on a hot mic saying the same slur that Huggins used. His on-air apology, which was interrupted by a “drive into deep left field by Castellanos,” remains the funniest thing to ever happen during a baseball game.

Thom Brennaman got canned for the same slur, so why not Huggins?

That was Brennaman’s last broadcast, but Huggins has apparently not coached his last game in Morgantown. It’s inarguable that what Huggins did was more egregious and made him more deserving of losing his job.

He wasn’t caught on a hot mic like Brennaman. He didn’t have a slip of the tongue like one could argue happened in other similar instances. He knew exactly what he was saying and he meant it, and even repeated it.

If Huggins had been fired, people would be whining about “Everyone makes mistakes. What about second chances?” This wasn’t a mistake. University President Elwood Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Wren Baker aren’t giving Huggins a second chance, but rather admitting they’re fine with his blatant bigotry.

Huggins released a written apology about an hour after the broadcast, clearly having studied at the Thom Brennaman school of pretending to take accountability for your actions. It was a tremendous change of heart that 69-year-old white millionaires have all the time, and, much like a degree from WVU, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

Whenever something like this happens, those defending the one in trouble will often say “People can change.” Yes, they can, but 99 percent of the time they don’t. And it’s especially rare that someone would get to as old an age as Huggins, having gone through life with the same beliefs, only to change their mind because of sensitivity training.

There’s plenty of moral justification for firing him, but also basketball reasons. He was already incredibly unlikeable and bad for recruiting. Oscar Tshiebwe was the 2022 National Player of the Year at Kentucky after transferring from WVU. Tsheibwe alleged that Huggins threatened to ruin his life and told John Calipari that he was caught smoking weed — allegations the veteran coach denies. (On The Bob Huggins show, the Basketball Hall of Famer said “outside influences” led to Tsheibwe’s departure from the program.)

There’s plenty of reason to believe this will affect recruiting going forward as well. Creighton coach Greg McDermott made a comment to his team that alluded to slavery which caused top 15 recruit, TyTy Washington, to de-commit.

And can we dissect the phrase that Huggins used? Bigotry against Catholics never fails to surprise me. That’s some 1920s discrimination. What’s next? Is he going to get mad when an Irish family moves into his neighborhood? As someone who was raised Catholic, I had always assumed that we were kind of the default setting of Christianity — what I now understand to be non-denominational. And then I learned in school that groups like the KKK were anti-Catholic. How racist do you have to be to hate white Christians because they’re not the same kind of white Christian that you are?

Huggins is not a victim of cancel culture

Even though Huggins is keeping his job and will make millions this year, people are going to claim that he is a victim of cancel culture. The crowd that complains about people making themselves the victims never fails to make themselves the victims. If that’s being canceled, then will someone please cancel me? Everyone who’s apparently had their life ruined by the “woke mob” is way better off than I am. I’ll be the first in line for sensitivity training if it means I’ll get paid $3.2 million to draw plays on a whiteboard.

If you’re mad at Bob Huggins but shrugged at Glen Kuiper, you’re part of the problem

No surprise Huggins is friends with Thom Brennaman

If West Virginia men’s head basketball coach Bob Huggins gets fired for calling Xavier fans “Catholic f**s” on a Cincinnati radio show — whose hosts encouraged and laughed at his behavior — one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport will have earned his termination. And if Oakland A’s broadcaster Glen Kuiper loses his job for referring to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the “Ni**er League Museum” on live TV, he’ll be the blame for his unemployment.

If your outrage is only activated when certain oppressed groups are targeted, then social equality was never something you truly believed in.

“Earlier today on a Cincinnati radio program, I was asked about the rivalry between my former employer, the University of Cincinnati, and its crosstown rival, Xavier University,” Huggins wrote in his apology, as the brass at WVU is reviewing the matter. “During the conversation, I used a completely abhorrent phrase that there is simply no excuse for—and I won’t try to make one here. I deeply apologize to anyone I have offended, as well as to the Xavier University community, the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia University.”

Huggins’ apology was more a formality than proof of remorse. Thanks to Twitter, an old post from 2020 was unearthed from when he had his “friend” Thom Brennaman come and speak to his team about “accountability.” Months earlier, the longtime broadcaster had been fired by FOX Sports for using the same gay slur that Huggins did. In 2021, Huggins’ “friend” followed that up by complaining about how he hadn’t been given another chance yet.

When you look at it from that context, it’s hard to defend that Huggins didn’t know what he was doing when he did what he did — just like Kuiper.

“I could not be more sorry and horrified by what I said,” he said in his statement. “I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies.”

Huggins and Kiuper’s apologies were protocol, not penitence

Like Huggins, his apology was part of protocol, not penitence. Kuiper has been calling games in Oakland for almost 20 years. It’s impossible to work in a city for that long and not know that the N-word is the last thing a white man should say in the place where the Black Panther Party was founded. It also means that Kuiper was around to see how Bruce Maxwell was treated in 2017 when one of the few Black players in the league kneeled during the national anthem.

“Maxwell’s teammates ‘would joke with him about assassins in the box seats, how no one wanted to stand next to him during the anthem or sit next to him in the dugout for fear of being hit with a bullet intended for him,” Howard Bryant wrote about Maxwell’s exile.

Huggins knows what happens when you use a gay slur and he did it anyway. Kuiper understands the gravity of racism and the power of the N-word and he still said it. They deserve everything that comes their way.

But, unfortunately, the other culprits will get off scot-free. From the radio host that egged Bob Huggins on to Glen Kuiper’s partner in the booth who sat there silently like a coward, and to all the people that were only pissed off by one of these egregious acts of discrimination and not both.

Being upset, or disappointed, at both men shows you’re human enough to have sympathy for those who were affected by their words. But only caring about one and not the other is simply inhumane. 

Of all people for Brett Favre to publicly stump for, he chose Tucker Carlson

This guy again.

For those curious about Brett Favre’s feelings regarding Tucker Carlson’s ouster from Fox News, you can get it straight from the horse’s ass mouth. He is unhappy with the decision to oust a host so toxic that with more than three million viewers per night, the program struggled to find blue chip advertisers.

Favre was a Fox News fan, but it wasn’t the Dominion Voting Systems settlement that drove him away. His problem is the network parting ways with a person who allegedly might be more of a bigot in real life than he was on his show. Favre decided to publicly side with Carlson while dipped in his own scandal that he is fighting tooth and nail to climb out of.

So what chased Brett Favre away from FOX News?

Reports have been coming out since the nearly $788 million settlement was made public about the fiefdom that Carlson was running at Fox News. His former head of booking — Abby Grossberg — has filed a lawsuit against him and Fox for promoting a hostile work environment in which misogynistic and anti-semtic language was the norm, going so far as calling women the c-word. Carlson has given no response to the allegations in the suit. Through a spokesperson Fox denied all of the allegations in the suit against the company to the New York Times.

For all that had been brewing with Carlson behind the scenes, it was his personal text messages that allegedly were the final straw that led to his dismissal. According to the Times, days before the trial regarding Dominion’s defamation accusations against Fox was set to begin, the network was made aware of the contents of Carlson’s troubling personal text messages.

The Times reported that one of the messages that Carlson sent to a producer was the day after the Jan. 6, 2021 riots. In it he saw a group of [former President Donald Trump supporters] attacking someone that Tucker alleged to be an Antifa supporter — an organization that Trump’s own FBI Director said does not exist. In the message Tucker claimed that is not how “white men fight,” that he was morally conflicted while watching the video. On one hand, due to Tucker’s apparent view of the world, he believed that a supporter of a made up organization deserved to be attacked. On the other hand however, Tucker seemed to realize that was a human being who was being beaten, and he knows that person is deserving of empathy and not violence.

As the temperature around Favre’s collar continues to rise, he decided to put his stamp on what he seems believes is the true grave injustice of which Fox News is responsible. Great look, Brett.