Posted on July 20, 2018

WWE Reinstates Hulk Hogan, but African-American Wrestlers Haven’t Forgotten His Racist Remarks

Cicero Estrella, Mercury News, July 19, 2018

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{snip} Kofi Kingston, posting on behalf of the other members of the all-black wrestling crew, was straightforward: New Day will keep its distance from Hogan but monitor his actions as he tries to rebuild his image following numerous racist comments that forced the WWE to ban him.

“On a personal level, when someone makes racist and hateful comments about any race or group of people, especially to the degree that Hogan made about our people, we find it difficult to simply forget, regardless of how long ago it was, or the situation in which those comments were made,” Kingston said in the tweeted statement. {snip}

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was for decades among the WWE’s most bankable stars. {snip}

But in 2015 racist remarks that Hogan made during a 2012 SiriusXM radio interview resurfaced. Hogan used the N-word repeatedly in asking why he could no longer use the pejorative, but African-Americans such as fellow wrestler Booker T and hip-hop artists Lil Wayne and Birdman were able to address him with it.

“And everybody down (in Miami) —Lil Wayne, Birdman—they’re all calling me (expletive) and then I started sayin’ it,” Hogan said, according to the Daily Beast.  “And I always said it, but now all of a sudden I get heat when I say it, and they say, Hogan, you can’t say that,’ so I say, ‘Why can they say it to me then?’”

Hogan issued an apology. “This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise,” he said, according to Variety.

But also in 2015, a sex tape of Hogan and Linda’s friend, Heather Clem, caught Hogan continually using the same derogatory term while discussing daughter Brooke’s possible relationship with an African-American man.

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He also reportedly said, “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to (expletive) some (expletive), I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall (expletive) worth a hundred million dollars. Like a basketball player.”

The WWE cut ties with Hogan and erased all mention of him from its website. Over the weekend, the entertainment company reinstated Hogan into its Hall of Fame after a three-year ban.

“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,” the WWE posted on its website.

The reunion could be financially beneficial for both sides, according to Forbes. “That would likely mean it’s possible for Hogan to again be included in WWE programming and even in future WWE video games — including the upcoming WWE 2K19,” according to the publication.

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