Nothing can escape the glare of Donald Trump's buffoonery in 2017. With Americans angry over his lacking response to white supremacists, an unexpected group is calling for his ouster: wrestling fans.
But no, they're not asking for him to be impeached. WWE fans are worried about an institution that is much more sacred, the WWE Hall of Fame. Gothamist spoke to a group of fans gathered outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and they believe there is precedent for Trump to be removed from the hall.
"We were talking about how Trump gave that crazy press conference, and then thought about how he's in the WWE Hall of Fame even though Hulk Hogan got kicked out over racism," said John Stevens, one of the men arguing Trump should get the boot. "What Trump has done is remarkably worse than what Hogan did, since he's dividing the country by siding with neo-Nazis and white nationalists."
Stevens would continue, claiming that it reflects poorly on the company to keep Trump in. "I was sickened by that press conference, and his response to Charlottesville," Stevens said. "WWE is endorsing those comments by having [Trump] in their Hall of Fame. I can't wrap my brain around the fact that they'd leave him in there, take Hogan out and claim they say they care about racism."
Trump has taken a lot of heat for his handling of the tragic situation in Charlottesville, Virginia, blaming "many sides" in the immediate aftermath of a white supremacist running over a counter-protester, Heather Heyer.
In fairness, if racism was the driving force behind a possible Trump ouster, the WWE didn't exactly need the Charlottesville aftermath to be affiliated with racism. In the late 1980s, he took out full-page ads in major New York newspapers calling for the death penalty in the case of the "Central Park Five," in which a group of black men were eventually exonerated after facing sexual assault charges. Decades later, he refused to back down from his stance in spite of DNA evidence and confessions from the actual assailant.
The rest of his history isn't a whole lot better, if at all. He accused a federal judge of being biased against him because of Mexican heritage (the judge was born in Indiana), he was sued repeatedly for not renting to black tenants, his casinos were fined for removing African-American card dealers at a gambler's request, claimed Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim (he is not and it wouldn't matter if he was Muslim anyway), and attacked the family of a deceased U.S. Army officer after they spoke out against him during the 2016 election.
So yeah, WWE fans upset with him being in the Hall of Fame have a point, even if it's one that could have been made when he was originally inducted into the Hall in 2013. Though his normalization through WWE was not as big of a problem as it is now that he's in the most powerful office in America, the luster of his Hair vs. Hair match against Vince McMahon is not more important than showing your fans you give a damn about racism.
But who knows! Maybe this will give WWE the kick in the ass it needs to take action. Given that McMahon is a close friend and supporter of Trump's don't expect him to get booted from the Hall of Fame anytime soon.
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