Former NBA forward John Amaechi is pushing back against longtime West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins over some of his recent remarks.
Earlier this week, Higgins used homophobic slurs in reference to Xavier fans during a Cincinnati radio appearance on 700 WLW.
Amaechi described Huggins’ comments as “disgusting.”
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Amaechi last played in the league for the Utah Jazz and retired after the 2002-03 season. In 2007, he revealed in his New York Times bestseller “Man in the Middle” he was gay.
Amaechi also had stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic during his five-year career.
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After learning of Huggins’ comments, Amaechi said he believes others in positions of leadership across the sports world share views similar to the Mountaineers coach’s.
“I don’t know the man, but he sounds like a dinosaur,” Amaechi told TMZ Sports. “College (and indeed pro) sports are littered with them.”
Amaechi also expressed disappointment about how the radio show hosts engaged with Huggins during the conversation.
He said everyone involved was “also disgusting and to blame for egging this conversation on and calling [Huggins] ‘the best’ after he said those words.”
Amaechi added that it was not surprising to hear the remarks.
“It’s hardly surprising that some people still think it’s OK to say these words,” Amaechi said. “As to whether he should be an educator (as a coach or otherwise), I would remind people that the vociferously anti-trans and anti-gay usually sit in a constellation where many other minority groups (including Black and brown people) are also held in contempt.”
Over the past decade and a half, Amaechi has used his platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Since stepping away from basketball, he has become a psychologist and works as a professor.
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Huggins has apologized for his remarks. The university has announced intentions to conduct a review into Huggins’ comments.