Boxing

WWE Fires Abraham Washington Over Kobe Bryant Joke

Abraham WashingtonAbraham Washington made headlines two weeks ago when he made a Kobe Bryant “rape joke” on a live episode of WWE Monday Night RAW. Two weeks later Washington finds himself on the unemployment line and thanks to Twitter, he isn’t going away quietly.

Washington was recently in the midst of his first real push as the manager of the Prime Time Players in the WWE. For many old school fans that missed the days of the WWE heel manager, Washington was a fresh twist on a classic role. Part of Washington’s gimmick was to have a live microphone at ringside like NFL players and coaches have during a game. Unfortunately this live mic which I thought was a great idea would ultimately cost Washington his job.

The controversy came two weeks ago on a live broadcast of RAW in Colorado. Washington was live and made a remark about Kobe Bryant’s troubles regarding rape allegations in Colorado few years ago, which Bryant was ultimately found not guilty of. Here is the comment that started a firestorm.

He’s like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado! He’s unstoppable!

And so it began. The WWE immediately apologized on television per Michael Cole and Washington took to Twitter to offer his own apology.

I would like to apologize to all the #WWEUniverse for my inappropriate and insensitive remark. I went too far with that joke. #NotFunny!! ” – @AWPromotion

Washington then disappeared for a week and his status with the WWE was a hot rumor for the last week. It would have appeared that Washington was safe, but would be toned down going forward. That is why it was a bit of a surprise on Friday when news broke that Washington had been future endeavored by the company. Washington confirmed the news on Twitter.

AWPromotions is no more ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your support and hate, it’s been a great run. Now I get to do me which isn’t PG! ” – @AWPromotion

Washington was hot, red hot over his release, and has been venting on Twitter. Hey, maybe he should send in a Tout? Now that would grab some Tout attention right? Anyway, Washington has been ranting and raving about his firing and feels that the ironic influence of the Attitude Era is what ultimately led to his demise, stressing that his Kobe remark was simply a joke.

Thank you WWE for creating me and then killing me because I only portrayed what I grew up watching… The #WWE!!” – @AWPromotion

“Let this be a lesson to up and coming talent in the WWE don’t try and be great like the Rock or Stone Cold. WWE isn’t the same… “ – @AWPromotion

I’ve offended the wrong people that taught me how to have ATTITUDE It was the #WWE that made me bold and now it has turned it’s back on me” – @AWPromotion

Washington also retweeted dozens of tweets in support. I started feeling a little bad for Washington until I read more of his tweets. In addition to his tweets about being fired, he spent the rest of his night apparently trading insults with people on Twitter that looked like something out of a 4th grade lunchroom. Washington insulted people’s weight, their mothers, you know all of the stuff you remember from the playground as a kid. Remember, these were all people that only disagreed with him making a joke about Kobe’s alleged rape. It didn’t take long for my sympathy to dissipate.

That said, there is a big history of hypocrisy here when it comes to such a harsh punishment over a rape joke in the WWE. This is the same company that just recently promoted an angle that featured Kane stalking Eve. What was the implied result of Kane actually catching Eve? Was he going to corner her and tell her a bad joke? Keep in mind that this was just a few months ago.

The history of the WWE shows a company that has a convenient track record of anti-abuse and anti-rape. I guess male rape is okay, remember John Heidenreich having his way with Michael Cole? How about Randy Savage’s mental abuse of Miss Elizabeth? Anyone remember Triple H drugging Stephanie McMahon? But wait that is nothing compared to their Hall of Fame.

For those unaware, the WWE have a convicted rapist in their Hall of Fame. Mike Tyson is a member of the Hall of Fame. Mike was inducted just this last April. Anyone that has read or followed the Tyson rape case knows the details and it was ugly. Whether you think Mike was innocent or guilty, he was convicted. I was a big Tyson fan growing up but it always disgusted me to see Mike so welcomed back into entertainment after being convicted of rape and here he was just a few months ago celebrated by the WWE. In addition, Mike is in the upcoming WWE video game and is a big part of the marketing campaign.

Now in no way am I justifying Washington’s remark. It was stupid. But this is live television with a delay! Shouldn’t the person in charge of quality control be fired instead of Washington? How is it that the WWE were so appalled yet nobody thought twice about hitting a delay? Could the WWE have wanted it both ways? Let it air, get the publicity, and then strike back as a hero to women’s rights?

Again, after reading Washington’s tweets it is hard to feel sorry for a guy that is sitting around Twitter at 4 in the morning insulting a fan’s mom or calling someone a fat boy and telling them they are a “stroke waiting to happen.” On the other hand, I will hardly applaud a company for taking a stand just a few months after inducting a convicted rapist into their Hall of Fame. To me, there are no winners or victims here. The real losers here are the people who are affected by this kind of low brow humor who once again are political pawns in an effort for cheap publicity.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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