Back when I lived in South Florida and worked for a pretty prominent South Florida sports enterprise, Hulk Hogan was one of our frequent guests.
I worked in Guest Services at the time and the reality is, at the time, Hulk was the nicest guy I had ever met. It was the highlight of my time working there and as a Wrestling fan? A dream come true.
Sadly, all that glitters isn’t gold.
Hulk Hogan just got himself canned by the WWE and I can’t say I blame then. It’s crazy to think about, but the man who at one point was the “Face of Professional Wrestling” just got himself black-balled from the biggest company in the industry. He got blacklisted because he said some verbiage that was clearly racist and incredibly offensive. You cannot go around saying those types of things about anyone, let alone your daughter’s boyfriend. There’s also a rumor out that he said terrible things about Dwayne Johnson that haven’t been fully substantiated.
Truthfully, Hulk has always been a guy who was never known to be the best of people, despite my meetings with him being cordial and friendly. He held down the youngsters on their ascension to the top, he screwed over a litany of people on his way to the summit and he never truly knew when to walk away. Adding to his desire to only do the big shows, his penchant for avoiding small towns, and his “method” of booking, Hogan was also a terrible human being outside of the ring.
Let us not forget he slept with his best friend’s wife and was videotaped doing so. While his best friend allowed it, the moral bankruptcy required to even engage in sex with your best friend’s wife is worth commenting on.
Still, this takes the absolute cake.
Sure, the comments were said 8 years ago, but even so you cannot say something so blatantly offensive and repulsive. It’s been a widely reported that he called Dwayne Johnson an “uppity, half-breed n*gger”, and a “dirty, sh*t- talking sambo.
It’s been confirmed that he used the words “if she was going to date a n*gger, why couldn’t it be one of those 8 foot tall n*ggers, worth a hundred million dollars? Like a basketball player!”, when discussing his daughter’s boyfriend.
Both statements are egregious lapses in judgment from Hogan, especially after he had just found himself back in the good graces of McMahon and company after a messy divorce and a terrible stint in TNA Wrestling where he became a parody of himself.
Hogan had been given a new leash and he bit the hand that feeds. Whether it had been done 8 years ago or this morning, the act remains the same and remains indefensible. In a time and cultural landscape where bigotry and racial fevor has risen, WWE needed to distance themselves as harshly and as quickly as possible from Hogan’s statements.
It wasn’t a move done strictly for moral obligations, either. With a network contract, an Internet subscription service and a loyal public that is still willing to purchase tickets even in a downturn, Vince McMahon had to protect his assets. The minute this went public, the risk of losing sponsors and advertisers was too great to keep Hogan in the fold.
It’s just sad to see the cornerstone of WWE’s initial rise no longer has any history with the company. The Pontiac Silverdome, The Gorilla Press of Andre The Giant, all the attendance records and all the titles and sccolades have been stricken from the record.
And it’s justified.
It was harsh, but it was necessary.
Racism should have no place in this industry and the WWE took a hard-line stance whether it be because of morals or because of their bottom line.
Either way, Hogan screwed the pooch and he should be paying for it.
Timelines be damned.
Tags: Hulk Hogan