Hulk Hogan kicked off what some are calling an “Apology Tour” Monday morning on Good Morning America. The former WWE world champion told Amy Robach and the world that he was sorry asking for forgiveness and understanding.
[adinserter block=”2″]Hogan’s world came crashing down like a leg drop in 1984 a few weeks ago after the National Enquirer released a transcript which documented Hogan admitting to being a “little” racist and using the n-word in derogatory and racist fashion while being secretly recorded. Hogan immediately lost his job with the WWE and the respect of millions of minority fans who cheered for him over the last thirty-plus years.
I wouldn’t say that Hogan has remained silent since then. Hogan has primarily used Twitter as his preferred form of communication and let’s just say it hasn’t gone well. Hogan has been ridiculed by many who have played practical jokes on the Hulkster, yet to be fair he has gotten a lot of support. Yet Hogan’s attempts to spin the comments have largely backfired in his face and he has remained mum on the subject.
Hogan must have struck some kind of a deal with ABC as he appeared on Good Morning America Monday morning and will appear on Nightline later that night. Hogan told Robach that he was very sorry for what he said. He said it was the lowest point of his life. Hogan then tried to justify it by saying he grew up in a lower-class neighborhood and that (the n-word) is the way he and his friends used to greet each other every day. He also said that he was angry with Brooke and it was her boyfriend that was the root of the ranting. He got choked up (although I didn’t see tears) when Robach read Brooke’s poem. Hogan asked for another chance saying that a man shouldn’t be judged at the lowest part of his life. Hogan and Robach said his WWE firing was a great thing as “the truth set him free” although I am really not sure how that applies here. Robach said that he is now spending his time trying to bring awareness to the impact of racial slurs.
Where do I begin? Hogan is 62 and while I have no idea what life for him was like as a kid, I find it extremely hard to believe that he and his minority friends were walking around calling each other the n-word in the 1950s and early 60s. Anything is possible, but we aren’t talking about a guy in that grew up 20 years ago. With the enemies Hogan has made at Gawker, I would not be surprised at all to see someone pop up in the next few days from Hogan’s childhood disputing everything he just said.
What really started to bother me here was Hogan defending the use by saying that the word was commonplace in his environment growing up. That would be perfectly justifiable if Hogan was using it on the recording as a term of endearment. However, Hogan was using the word much differently than as if he was “greeting” someone. He was using the word with malice and disgust so for him to spin this the other way just doesn’t add up in my opinion.
This is also the same lens Hogan looked through when he tried to justify his actions on Twitter. He compared his use of the n-word to Barack Obama using it, again neglecting to own the fact that Hogan was using the word in a derogatory and insulting fashion. I don’t know if Hogan is trying to manipulate the story or really doesn’t understand the issue at hand. He is not being criticized for simply using the n-word. That is too easy. The man is on video admitting to being “a little racist” and using vile language. Spinning the story to turn it into something else is either naïve or a savvy play on his part.
Robach for her part didn’t press Hogan on anything and sat there smiling as if she was wearing a Hulkamania shirt. Hogan is lucky he wasn’t pressed on anything here. It should also be pointed out that nothing from the transcript was shown or repeated during the segment. So if you are a watching the interview without ever seeing or hearing the transcript, you probably assume that Hogan was in trouble for nothing more than simply using the n-word. The lack of journalism here was shocking to say the least.
[adinserter block=”1″]Quite frankly I don’t care either way. I watched Hogan as a kid and grew up in the Hulkamania era. Nothing can take away those memories and I’ll always have a soft spot for the guy. At the same time, his lack of real accountability here is starting to make me angrier than the actual recording did. At some point, the man just needs to step up and admit exactly what he did and take some ownership if he expects forgiveness.
I’d expect more of the same as we see Hogan continue to pop up over the next few months in the media. I wish nothing but the best for the man and if he wins his $100 million lawsuits, he’ll have plenty of reasons to celebrate life. However, I am more convinced than ever that the next time we see Hogan on WWE television will probably be a tribute video. Paying the price for this mess with his legacy is a steep price tag yet the more he opens his mouth the less of a chance I see of him ever getting it back.