Rob Simmons, competing with former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in the U.S. Senate race out of Connecticut, claimed that McMahon’s family company has been insensitive to people with mental disabilities, circulating YouTube videos including Sandman (Jim Fullington) beating up Eugene (Nick Dinsmore)*:
McMahon’s spokesman is quoted on the Hartford Courant’s political blog saying, “In the soap opera world of WWE, the character ‘Eugene’ was developmentally disabled, but rather than the beaten down, pathetic character that Rob presents, Eugene was treated via scripting like all WWE superstars with no special privileges. He competed in the ring or in a steel cage, sometimes winning, but often losing as an underdog. In the end, in spite of any disability, he was victorious and became a hero.
“Rather than a pathetic character, he was inspirational.”
“It was through WWE’s work with the Special Olympics since 1986 that Linda understands that these special athletes don’t want preferential treatment. They just want a chance to succeed. Eugene proved to them that they could.
“Rob just seems to love those YouTube videos, which are taken out of context and don’t tell the whole soap opera story line.
“Linda, however, will continue to focus on the real life issues of jobs, soaring debt, tax increases, and runaway spending, and she will fight job-killing legislation like Cap and Trade and Card Check, both of which Simmons cosponsored as a Congressman.”
*Side note: While we think issues dealing with the developmentally disabled are very serious, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that Simmons has yet to make any statements speaking out against WWE for promoting violence on zombies.