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College Basketball

Bob Huggins, Live On The Radio And With All His Faculties, Uses Homophobic Slur

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 16: Head coach Bob Huggins of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Legacy Arena at the BJCC on March 16, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)
Alex Slitz/Getty Images

I don't hold local sports radio yakkers and fossilized college basketball coaches in very high esteem, and yet I find myself surprised to be relaying the following bit of information to you in this, our post-Brennaman world: West Virginia head men's basketball coach Bob Huggins appeared on a local sports radio show in Cincinnati, Ohio, and used a homophobic slur—twice—while engaging in a truly putrid riff-session with the show's host.

Huggins and Bill Cunningham, host of the 700 WLW’s Bill Cunningham Show, were treating listeners to some half-grumbled jokes about Xavier fans when things took a turn. Huggins made a reference to Xavier fans throwing "rubber penises" onto the court during a game, and then Cunningham, who looks like this, cracked, "I think it was transgender night, wasn't it?" Huggins followed that up with, "It was a crosstown shootout. Yeah, no, what it was was all those fags, those Catholic fags, I think."

Here's the audio, from Awful Announcing:

I truly did not think that stuff like this was still happening on sports radio in 2023, but every day brings new surprises.

There's an interesting moment in that audio clip, in which Cunningham transitions directly from chuckling comfortably at his own awful transphobic joke to being gripped by silent panic as soon as Huggins says the slur. That silence was Cunningham realizing that his own bigotry had lost the protection of local sports radio's obscurity, and that a national spotlight, along with all the consequences that follow, was swinging towards him.

Huggins released the following statement:

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