Josh Neighbors

Despite using a homophobic slur in a radio interview, West Virginia plans to retain men’s basketball head coach Bob Huggins. The same can’t be said for a podcast host, who made the decision to play the uncensored comments during an instant reaction show on Monday night.

Since then, Josh Neighbors has been let go as a host of the Locked On Big 12 podcast of the Locked On Podcast Network. On Wednesday night, he took to Twitter and updated listeners that he would no longer be the host of a show that he had been since January 2o20:

“I made the conscious decision to play Bob Huggins comments in their entirety,” Neighbors said. “And also without censoring the slurs that he used. I did that because I thought it was important to play and give the full context of what he had said. I followed that up by saying, ‘I thought what he had said was abhorrent. I thought it was hateful.’ And also I’d said, that if I were the [Athletic Director] I would’ve fired him and not want someone like that espousing those views coaching my team.

“The folks at Locked On felt differently. They felt because I was willingly posting hate speech — which I did. I was not using the hate speech. I was obviously trying to combat it and say it’s terrible and awful and should not happen. But, to play it to give the full context and give the folks a chance to hear it all, I did make the choice to play that. David Locke (creator of Locked On Podcast Network) and company sent me an email [Wednesday] evening, telling me that they were locking me out of the accounts, they were gonna decide my future….I understand they have their rules. I might disagree with them, but if there’s a zero-tolerance policy on hate speech, whether you’re decrying it or using it, that is their prerogative…I thought I was using my platform to condemn the hate speech and say it’s unacceptable…It did not matter to the folks at Locked On.”

Neighbors said that Locke did call him and he had a chance to make his pitch, but the decision to let him go had already been made prior to the phone call.

While Neighbors has been fired for giving Huggins comments “a platform,” it’s important to see them in their entirety, especially when considering that West Virginia has already made the effort to retain the 69-year-old head coach.

Monday afternoon, Huggins appeared on 700 WLW’s Bill Cunningham Show in Cincinnati. During the appearance, Cunningham asked Huggins, who coached at the University of Cincinnati from 1989-2005, if he “poached any Xavier guys to come play for West Virginia.” Huggins said, “Catholics don’t do that” and proceeded to reference Xavier fans and a prior incident at the Crosstown Shootout, leading to the following reprehensible exchange.

Cunningham: “I think it was transgender night, wasn’t it?”

Huggins: “It was a Crosstown Shootout, yeah, no, what it was, was all those f–s, those Catholic f–s I think”

Cunningham: “All right.”

Huggins: “They were envious they didn’t have one.”

Right or wrong, Neighbors ultimately paid the price for not censoring those comments above. His announcement now has close to 400k views on Twitter, though at the writing of this article, Neighbors has provided no further update and the Locked On Podcast Network has not commented on his departure.

[Josh Neighbors on Twitter; Photo Credit: Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.