The Atlantic has an article online examining the race problem in WWE. While it’s something WWE will quickly claim doesn’t exist, the author backs all of his claims with indisputable evidence suggesting the contrary.
The author begins by explaining Rusev’s recent success against black wrestlers before pointing out that WWE has never had a black wrestler hold its world championship (which is not entirely true because The Rock is half black). Mark Henry is mentioned and it’s highlighted he’s a former ECW Champion and World Heavyweight Champion but never a WWE Champion.
July 11, 2014 10:42 AM EDT Update: The Atlantic has updated their article by 1) mentioning The Rock as WWE Champion and 2) including a statement from WWE. You can click the link below to read both. End update.
Then, a past racially-charged storyline between Triple H and Booker T is explained before what I found to be some of the most intriguing analysis of the piece.
Below is an excerpt:
WWE currently employs 12 black wrestlers. There are three character situations to be found among them:
1. The performer plays or has played a character based on a racial stereotype.
2. The performer does not have any discernible character.
3. The performer is largely absent from television and/or has never played a significant role in WWE’s fictional universe.
The past gimmicks of JTG and Ron Simmons are analyzed before shifting to Alicia Fox and then a look at the treatment of other racial minorities with the example of Los Matadores.
The author then looks at past controversy involving Michael Hayes and racism before shifting to TNA Wrestling and their world title. Lashley and Ron Killings were world champions in TNA (with Killings’ reign being when the TNA world title was affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance) but never in WWE.
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
Richard Reacts: I am a 29-year old straight white man living in the United States of America. It’s not easy for me to sit and talk about discrimination on any level because I haven’t experienced it. The issue of discrimination is something that many tiptoe around but this article was well put together and the author was very informed. That said, I’m not going to start throwing stones and declaring Vince McMahon a bigot, either. However, these are issues that should be brought to light and the fans can be the judge. I’d love to hear from minorities here. Do you feel WWE has a race problem? Why or why not?