Wrestling fans have a tendency to want to separate the character of a wrestler, no matter how vile, from the contents of their matches. Not only is this incredibly irresponsible at best, but it’s bigoted at worst. Fans, for example, shouldn’t be able to watch Brock Lesnar matches without keeping in mind that the man is openly homophobic. Trying to justify supporting Lesnar’s career is extremely disrespectful to the LGBTQ community, and fans must come to terms with that should they continue to watch Lesnar’s matches.
Efforts to separate wrestlers from their performances is largely why so many disgusting people are allowed to take up space and continue to do harm in the wrestling business.
It cannot be understated that there is no other industry where this mindset is acceptable. If Sammy Guevara was in the music or film industry, he would’ve been blacklisted in seconds, and rightfully so. It is never excusable to go on a podcast and vocalize that you want to r*pe a potential co-worker, and the fact that people need to put this in words is mind-boggling. Perhaps it is a symptom of how far behind the wrestling community is, socially speaking.
What’s saddest of all, though, is the fact that Guevara isn’t even the worst offender to have come out of 2020. Many other wrestlers have allegations of r*pe, p*dophilia, or domestic abuse against them. Yet these men are able to continue their careers, and even thrive, in pro-wrestling.
The continuous dismissal of serious allegations by both wrestling fans and promoters is a reprehensible stain on the sport.
In 2021: Promotions need to stop booking abusers, stop booking racists, stop booking misogynists, stop booking neo-nazis, stop booking homophobes. The list could go on.
Some companies are more likely to adhere to these rules than others. It’s unfortunate that the biggest wrestling company in the world, WWE, seems to care the least about bigotry and abuse allegations. Given the already questionable morality of Vince McMahon, however, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that alleged p*dophile Velveteen Dream and alleged r*pist Matt Riddle continue to appear on TV without the company so much as consulting the victims of the accused.
It seems to be an undeniable fact that a major reason pro wrestling has become a fringe media is because the veil was lifted off the scum of the industry. Hulk Hogan is the most prominent name on this subject. And despite the amount of time that’s passed since Hogan’s retirement, there are still countless men just like him working in wrestling. In order to protect women and racial minorities in the wrestling community, performers and fans alike, these men must be weeded out, no matter how many stars their matches earn.
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