WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Indefensible Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan isn’t making it easy. Transcripts released throughout the week featured the WWE icon using slurs and homophobic language. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point that even his biggest fans are struggling to root for their childhood hero.

I have never been one to demonize a public figure over language. Yet I am still looking for a path of clarity and forgiveness for the Hulkster. I can’t find it and that path becomes murkier and murkier daily. Thanks for the memories as a 13-year old kid cheering on the Hulk in 1984 at the Spectrum, but what there is no excuse for your behavior.

We all know the story by now. Hogan is caught on tape using F and N-words that I don’t care to reprint in this blog. Hogan also claims in a conversation meant to be private, that he is a racist…little albeit but he does make that claim. As much as I hate to see a guy lose a 30-plus year legacy, the language and point of view he owned on that tape are just strong to forgive.

What excuse can you logically make for the guy? I have seen several, some even coming out of his own camp. The prevailing excuse is that the tape was recorded during Hogan’s darkest time, right before his divorce. I can certainly empathize with depression and despair over losing his family, and I won’t judge how broken up he was about it since that is all conjecture, but I am sorry. This is a poor excuse for using that kind of language in a private conversation. I also have yet to read the psychological evidence that supports a man going through the breakup of his marriage turning racist. If it’s out there let me know.

My second favorite defense of Hogan is that “the Hulk Hogan I know is not a racist.” Now if Hogan were on tape simply dropping the N-word, okay, maybe you can use this defense. The guy obviously has friends of all races. However, the one thing you cannot take out of this is that Hogan is on tape admitting to being a racist. You may tell me that the guy is not a racist, but the guy is on tape telling me is indeed racist. Compound that with the way he used the N-word when talking about Jamie Foxx and there is just simply not enough evidence to support that the guy is not racist.

Everyone uses the N-word, as a matter of a fact Hogan went on Twitter and retweeted a tweet in support of himself that compares his use of the word to Barack Obama using the same word. I was stunned when I read this. Talk about a complete lack of self-awareness from this guy! The issue at hand here is that Hogan says on this very same tape that he is racist. Not only that, again he uses the word when referencing Jamie Foxx in a very demeaning factor. Obama nor others who get passes have either used the word that way or claimed to be racist, at least that I have seen.

Staying on the lack of self-awareness that is probably my biggest problem with defending Hulk. Hulk seems to be confusing the outrage with him claiming to be racist with using the N-word. Not only that, Hogan’s camp claimed when issuing his apology that it was Hulk who resigned from the WWE, not that he was fired. The WWE continues to proceed as if he was fired and right now I have to admit, his credibility isn’t very strong. So going out and trying to give this impression at a time where he should be owning the comment and be as sincere as possible in apologizing, just leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

One thing I will say is that it is hard to find a fan who has met Hulk that has said a bad word about meeting him. I have met him a few times myself and he was always exceptionally nice to everyone that asked for autographs and pics. The only demand I ever saw him make was women and children going first. Believe it or not, you won’t hear those same stories about most of pro wresting’s biggest stars. I’d often see Hogan spend early hours of the morning on Twitter retweeting anyone that asked him for one. For a guy as big and iconic as he was in his industry, he was always respectful to his fans.

Unfortunately retweeting fans and taking pictures with fans doesn’t erase the words and damage he did with his words. A self-admitted racist using derogatory words with hate, who doesn’t appear to “get it” is not a guy that I want to defend.

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And neither should you.

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