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

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

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. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.