MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — It has been a very ugly last few days in Morgantown and for West Virginia fans around the country and during a very sad, difficult time, it’s hard to make lemonade out of lemons, but I will try. Bob Huggins said something inexcusable in 2023. Whether you hate “cancel culture” or not, he is the most recognizable person in the state of West Virginia and he has the ultimate responsibility of choosing his words carefully.
You simply cannot excuse what he said. It’s inexcusable. With that said, most people in the state of West Virginia still very much support Huggins and in fact, he is somehow even more adored following his insensitive, careless comments.
Someone recently joked on social media that Bob Huggins could shoot a person in the middle of High Street in downtown Morgantown in broad daylight and he would still be supported by West Virginians. He is that beloved in the Mountain State.
Bob Huggins is West Virginia. He is crude, he tells it like it is, he is honest to a fault, he occasionally says or does something really, really stupid, but ultimately he has a good heart and he cares. He’s genuine. He’s real. He’s one of us. He messed up in a major way and he’s asked for forgiveness and the people of West Virginia have responded with love and compassion and grace and understanding.
This incident will almost certainly tarnish Huggins’ national reputation forever. He can go on to win a national championship, cure cancer and end poverty, and he will unfortunately still be remembered by many as the basketball coach who said a homophobic slur on a radio program. For all the good that he’s done – and he’s done a substantial amount of good during his long and illustrious career – some will choose to remember only the shortcomings and wrongdoings.
But not in the state of West Virginia. Bob Huggins is revered and cherished unlike anyone in this state and no matter what he does or says for the rest of his life, he can do no wrong in the eyes of West Virginians. West Virginia is tough, it’s not always politically correct and, perhaps most importantly, it’s loyal.