Hulk Hogans’ WWE Return and Why It’s So Controversial
The WWE released the following statement regarding The Hulksters’ return to the company
Just before WWE’s Extreme Rules PPV the company announced the reinstatement of Terry Gene Boella, better known as Hulk Hogan into their Hall Of Fame. This was met with extremely mixed feelings by wrestling fans.
The WWE released the following statement regarding The Hulksters’ return to the company;
After a three-year suspension, Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. This second chance follows Hogan’s numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake. These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.
That mistake that they refer to is racist comments that he made during a sex tape made in 2008, that was leaked in July 2015. These comments were in relation to his daughter’s love life and he showed his disgust of the idea of his daughter dating a man of color and used the N-word.
He has since apologised unequivocally and has been doing his best to try to make others more aware of how racism affects people in a negative way. That being said he has drawn a lot of controversy over comments made during a talent meeting. PWInsider first reported the details of Hogan’s apology. They wrote that Hogan reminded everyone to always think about what they’re saying and that, in today’s day and age, “they have to remember that there are always cameras everywhere and they could be recorded even when they don’t realize they are.” This in a lot of people’s eyes was him saying that he was more sorry about the fact he was caught rather than him saying the N-word. WWE Superstars are quite split on this, Mark Henry supports the reintroduction while The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods) and Titus O’Neill were quite against it. The New Day released a joint statement via Kofi Kingston’s Twitter account:
— King T’Kofi (@TrueKofi) July 18, 2018
Titus O’Neil also responded to The New Day’s statement and denied rumors that claimed he walked out of Extreme Rules due to Hogan being there:
In FULL AGREEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EVERYTHING SAID IN THIS STATEMENT. MY additional response to this from to follow as there have been NUMEROUS ERRONEOUS reports on my Views and Response-to this situation. https://t.co/jCjtAusYW9
— Titus O'Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) July 18, 2018
His statement is below:
To my gracious fans and the WWE Universe.
The reports and rumors concerning my boycotting “Extreme Rules” in Pittsburgh is false and inaccurate. I was not scheduled to attend or be a participant in the “Extreme Rules” match/production and was otherwise not booked for the show.
The talent present in Pittsburgh, which I was a part of, was asked to attend a mandatory meeting in which Mr. Terry Bollea addressed everyone and informed the same that he would be reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. At no point during, after or otherwise did I make any scene concerning Mr. Bollea’s communication to the talent. In addition, let it be known that I did not refuse to shake Mr. Bollea’s hand; we did not have any type of one-on-one interaction whatsoever that would or did necessitate any exchange between us individually.
As to the reinstatement of Mr. Bollea, I can only communicate that I am a proponent of second and even third chances for individuals that show true remorse, acknowledgement of wrongdoing, fulfill their punishment, if applicable, and otherwise put forth sincere efforts to correct the issues.
Unfortunately, I must echo the sentiment and dissatisfaction expressed by many of my fellow contemporaries concerning Mr. Bollea’s apology and its lack of true contrition, remorse and a desire to change. Mr. Bollea’s apology “that he didn’t know he was being recorded” is not remorse for the hateful and violent utterances he made which reprise language that has caused violence against blacks and minorities for centuries.
I stand firm in my position that Mr. Bollea is entitled to reinstatement; he was and is a role model, hero and icon to countless people. I hope that Mr. Bollea’s missteps in communicating to the WWE talent in Pittsburgh are not repeated to his fans and I expect that he shall pursue an agenda that clearly communicates to all third parties that his language was inappropriate, wrong and should not be tolerated in a civilized and inclusive society.
As the father of two young black men, I have spent their entire life and the majority of my adult life with a singular focus; being a role model for my children and young black boys and girls. I take tremendous pride in my charity work and the community outreach programs that I have fostered via the platform I have been given. I teach my sons love and tolerance for everybody, but I also teach them to operate in truth and respect.
I hope this clears up any confusion. I, like New Day, will continue to use my platform to positively affect, entertain, embrace, celebrate and love people from all backgrounds both inside and outside of the WWE Universe.
Thaddeus Bullard aka WWE SuperStar “Titus Oneil”
This is quite a difficult situation for me to express my opinion on if I’m honest. Hulk Hogan is an undeniable icon of Professional Wrestling as a whole and deserves a place in the HOF because of his in-ring career as without him wrestling would not be where it is. However, what he said is inexcusable. I completely understand the backlash towards this but, this is the same company whose Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said the N-word live on Monday Night Raw to John Cena in front of two African-American employees as a comedy segment and has an Award in their Hall of Fame named after The Ultimate Warrior who infamously berated the LGBTQ+ community and also made racist comments when speaking at University of Connecticut in 2005.
It will be interesting to see what the company will do in the coming weeks regarding the situation and whether Hogan will appear on WWE TV any time soon.