07/31/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
Prayers. Training. Vitamins. And racism? Well the first three were staples of a Hulk Hogan interview when he was the most popular and best known professional wrestler on the planet in the 1980's through the early to mid 1990's. The last seems to a staple of the Hulkster's vocabulary more recently.
Since the transcripts of Hogan's racially charged statements came out, Hogan has been terminated by the WWE. His profile was taken off their website, his merchandise was pulled, and he was actually removed from the WWE Hall of Fame on line as well. The WWE has decided that due to these statements, Hulk Hogan no longer exists. But here's the problem, Hulk Hogan does exist. What he did for the then WWF, Vince McMahon, and professional wrestling as a whole can't be erased. Hulk Hogan was and probably still is the best known professional wrestler on the planet. He beat the Iron Sheik for the WWF championship. He body slammed Andre the Giant in front of the largest indoor crowd in sports history at the time at WrestleMania III in the Silver Dome. He made the most famous heel turn in 1996 when he joined the NWO while in WCW. That all happened. The WWE can't make that go away. They tried to do the same thing with Chris Benoit. Any likeness to him and all of his matches have been deleted from all things WWE. But Chris Benoit did exist. And did have some legendary matches. And was a big part of the WWE from the early part through the middle of the 2000's. Sure, the fact he murdered his family and then killed himself is tragic and awful. But it's real too. And the WWE can't ignore the fact that it did, no matter how much they've tried to erase Chris Benoit's existence.
The problem with this is the racist remarks that Hulk Hogan was fired for came from the unauthorized sex tapes with Heather Clem. I'm not going repeat what Hogan said, but he used the derogatory term to describe an African American like he used the words brother and dude in his 1980's interviews. What Hogan said was definitely inappropriate. It's not something the WWE needs to have associated with one of their best known talents, especially with the sensitivity surrounding racism recently. In no way am I condoning what Hulk Hogan said. But he was making these comments in what he thought was the privacy of his or Clem's home. Hogan has a $100 million dollar lawsuit against Gawker.com, which is the site that originally posted the sex tape. He didn't say these things in a public setting or in an interview or on national television. He said what he said in what he thought was, and what should have been, a private setting with Heather Clem as the only intended audience.
I'm in no way condoning what Hulk Hogan said. It was pretty nasty. He has apologized for the comments and stated that he isn't racist it was just a heat of the moment thing at a tough time in his life. And let's be honest, whether you're black or white or straight or gay or whatever, you've said something racist at some point in your life. You've said it in your own home. You've said it with your friends or family, amongst people you trust in a private setting. What Hulk Hogan said was wrong. But it shouldn't erase the existence of Hulk A Mania and the entire legacy of what Hulk Hogan was to professional wrestling. If there is anyone out there who has never uttered a racist word in their lives, I'd like to meet you. So before the world crucifies Hulk Hogan, remember this verse from the Bible. John 8:7 says "He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone".
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