CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Friday offered a conditional apology for calling a high school girls basketball team “thugs,” saying he didn’t know the remarks would cause any trouble.
Justice has drawn criticism for using the term after a scuffle broke out at a heated Tuesday night game between Greenbrier East High School, where he coaches, and Woodrow Wilson High School.
“I hate to say it any other way, but honest to God’s truth is the same thing happened over at Woodrow two different times out of the Woodrow players,” a heated Justice told The Register-Herald in a post-game interview. “They’re a bunch of thugs. The whole team left the bench, the coach is in a fight, they walked off the floor, they called the game!”
The team’s coaches are black, as are some of the players.
His comments spread quickly on social media and at the state Capitol, with one lawmaker, Del. Mike