This story originally appeared on our WVU network site WV Sports Now as part of our ongoing coverage on Bob Huggins’ controversial remarks.
Ex-NBA player John Amaechi spoke to TMZ Sports this past week regarding Bob Huggins’ comments. Amaechi, now a psychologist, came out as gay in 2007.
“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.”
As noted in his comments, Amaechi has no connection to Huggins. However he has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community since he came out in 2007.
In his conversation with TMZ Sports, Amaechi also took issue with the host of the radio show Bill Cunningham who laughed during Huggins comments, joked about it being “transgender night” and later called Huggins “the best.”
“It’s hardly surprising that some people still think it’s OK to say these words,” he told TMZ Sports. “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.”
Ameachi played college basketball at Vanderbilt and Penn State, the latter of which he was a two-time Academic All-American selection. He went undrafted in the 1995 NBA Draft but signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He appeared in 28 games (three starts) for the Cavaliers, before spending the next two seasons in Europe. He returned to the NBA with the Orlando Magic in 1999 and saw significant action, appearing in 162 games (89 starts) over two years there before finishing his career with the Utah Jazz.
He come out in his best-selling memoir Man in the Middle in 2007. He is considered to be the first NBA player to speak publicly about being gay. After his career, he worked in the media, started his own a consulting company and became a psychologist.
Huggins referred to Xavier fans as “Catholic f**s” on 700 WLW this past Monday. He has released an apology, but it is still unclear what action the university will take for the insensitive remarks.