World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) has announced that Hulk Hogan has been reinstated to its Hall of Fame three years after he was suspended when a racist rant was made public, Yahoo Sports reports.
In a statement released Sunday, the WWE said the wrestling star, whose real name is Terry Bollea, has been making efforts to atone for his comments:
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.
In 2015, Hogan was heard on audio talking about his daughter’s Black boyfriend:
“I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son,” he said.
“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.” …
According to sources, he said: “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger.”
Hogan was backstage at a WWE event on Sunday in Pittsburgh where he addressed his comments.
Just met with the @WWE Superstars and on all levels the volume of love and support was overwhelming. I’ve been praying for this day and I finally feel like I made it back home. Only Love 4 the #WWEUNIVERSE brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 15, 2018
A few of the wrestling company’s Black talent responded to the controversy surrounding Hogan’s return.
Kofi Kingston, a member of the tag team group New Day, released a statement Tuesday on behalf of the group, saying they find “it difficult to simply forget” Hogan’s comments.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
— ⚔️ KOFNAN the Barbarian ⚔️ (@TrueKofi) July 18, 2018
He added that it’s up to the WWE who it includes in its Hall of Fame, but that they won’t “associate with the people who convey or have conveyed this negative and hurtful mindset.”
Fellow WWE superstar Titus O’Neil showed support for New Day and added in a Twitter post Wednesday that though he believes in second chances and feels that Hogan is in a position to be reinstated, his apology was not genuine.
“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 desire to change,” he wrote. “Mr. Bollea’s apology ‘that he didn’t know he was being recorded’ is not remorse for the hateful and violent utterances he mad which reprise language that has caused violence against Blacks and minorities for centuries.”
My TRUTH!! pic.twitter.com/3HgsmXOOEg
— Titus O'Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) July 18, 2018
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.