Hulk Hogan, in one short tape, dealt a blow to his legacy following a racist rant directed at his daughter Brooke’s then-boyfriend.
The tape, which also won the Hulkster a multimillion-dollar judgment from Nick Denton and toppled the Gawker gossip site, contained more than one use of the N-word as Hogan complained to his sex partner about Brooke, “If we’re gonna f*** with n*****s, let’s get a rich one!” (Hat tip, The Daily Mail.)
Hulk was taped without his knowledge by partner Heather Clem, then-wife of his best friend Bubba the Love Sponge. Gawker released those tapes to the public and was slapped hard for invasion of privacy at a jury trial.
The two parties — Hulk Hogan and Denton/Gawker — would eventually reach a settlement, but not before WWE removed mentions of Hulk Hogan from their website and scrubbed him from the WWE Hall of Fame for a brief period.
But even from the beginning, there was speculation that the Hulkster would return, not “if” but “when.”
Now one former colleague of Hulk Hogan is advising against it, warning Vince McMahon and family that the racist rant “wasn’t a one-time thing.”
— VideogamesClub 2 (@gamesandtraile1) September 10, 2016
Kevin Sullivan, on the latest episode of the MSL & Sullivan podcast, had this to say about the alleged past racist language of Hulk Hogan.
“Well here’s the thing, and I don’t give a s**t what Hulk says, this wasn’t a one-time only insinuation using the N-word. He said it a couple of times to me about who I was hanging out with back in the day.”
Sullivan goes on to say it would be a bad idea politically for WWE to entertain bringing Hulk Hogan back, even for a small appearance at WrestleMania 33.
“They are a publicly traded company,” Sullivan said, adding that Linda McMahon, as the soon-to-be head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has “the chance to move up in the Republican party.”
“And they certainly don’t want to offend the black vote in this country, because believe it or not, Trump got a lot more support from them than anyone expected, and Vince being the family man he is, he isn’t going to take a chance with another mistake with Hulk,” Sullivan said.
After all, “he has a direct line to the President-elect of the United States,” he added.
Hulk Hogan achieved superstardom during the 1980s and was one of the rare wrestlers able to break out of his industry and cross over into popular culture.
He built his platform on the idea of “say your prayers and take your vitamins,” and was so over with young kids they would melt down if a villain ever got the better of his character, such as the time Earthquake sneak attacked the Hulkster on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event, causing paramedics to remove him from the building (kayfabe) on a stretcher.
There was also his defeat and post-match beatdown from Yokozuna at King of the Ring 1993.
The teary-eyed children left in the aftermath of those two encounters would likely never have guessed Hulk Hogan could be capable of saying things like this.
“I’m a racist to a point, y’know, f***ing n*****s” (also reported by The Daily Mail).
While WWE has made more frequent mention of Hogan lately, most of those references occurred before Kevin Sullivan revealed this new bit of information.
— Wrestling Attitude (@wa_wrestling) December 16, 2016
But what do you think, readers?
Should WWE listen to Kevin Sullivan and stay far away from another business relationship with Hulk Hogan? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]