There were many news stories last week about bigoted comments made by West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins, but virtually everyone treated the story as if there were only one guilty party. In point of fact, both Huggins and Xavier University bear responsibility for what happened.
When Huggins was interviewed by Bill Cunningham on Bill’s radio show, the two discussed what happened many years ago when Huggins was the coach of the University of Cincinnati’s basketball team. During the game between Huggins’ team and the school’s cross-town rival, Xavier University, fans from Xavier threw inflatable penis’ on the court. Huggins described the incident, calling the students “fags” and “Catholic f**kers.”
Immediately, Huggins came under fire for his anti-gay and anti-Catholic remarks. He should have. He issued a strong apology, had his salary cut by $1 million, received a three-game suspension, and was required to undergo “sensitivity training”; he also made a personal donation to Xavier.
The president of Xavier, Colleen Hanycz, called Huggins’ comments “repulsive and offensive.” They were. But so were the antics of the students, yet she said not a word about them. Importantly, she never denied what happened.
Why the double standard? Why is a Jesuit university silent when its students throw dildos on a basketball court? Perhaps if students from a rival school today were to throw inflatable vaginas on the court of Xavier’s women’s basketball team, the response might be different.
The duplicity is not just a problem for Xavier. The media had a field day going after Huggins. Not surprisingly, they were much more upset with his anti-gay quip than his anti-Catholic one.
It makes us wonder: Had Huggins only made an anti-Catholic remark, would there have been any news stories on it? Not likely. After all, Bill Maher continues to make anti-Catholic remarks on his weekly HBO-TV show and, aside from us, no one objects. The media are obviously not offended.