The past few years have seen a plethora of rumors suggesting that Hulk Hogan might be close to making a WWE return after previously getting fired for racist comments against African-Americans he allegedly made on a leaked video. With three years having passed since that leak, one of WWE’s newest Hall of Fame inductees weighed in on Hogan’s current situation, and explained why the pro wrestling icon should be allowed to work for the company that helped him become a pop culture phenomenon in the 1980s.
In an interview on CBS Sports’ In This Corner podcast, Bill Goldberg answered a question from a fan who asked him whether Hulk Hogan should be allowed by the WWE to return to the company, and whether it’s time for fans to forgive Hogan for the racially-charged remarks he supposedly said several years ago. While Goldberg admitted that it’s not in his capacity to decide whether the WWE should welcome Hogan back, he also stressed that everyone “deserves a second chance” in the wrestling business.
“I think you put [Hogan] in the locker room and give him the floor and let him speak his mind. That’s what he deserves. Who knows what happens from there but it’s not for me to say by any means. I can just give you my opinion and say that he deserves the floor and who knows where it goes from there.”
According to CBS Sports, Bill Goldberg had a similarly poor reputation with many wrestling fans prior to his own WWE return late in 2016. This was mainly because of his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX, one which Cageside Seats and other publications have referred to as one of the worst in WrestleMania history, due to both competitors’ perceived lack of effort as they prepared to leave the company after the event. Upon his return, however, Goldberg was able to mend fences with WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon, and win back the respect of fans through a solid feud with Lesnar that culminated at WrestleMania 33 in 2017.
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Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan’s former WWE colleagues have been divided on whether he’s ready to return to the company or not, Wrestling News noted. Fellow 1980s mainstays Hillbilly Jim and Jimmy Hart, for instance, are in favor of the company giving Hogan a chance to redeem himself, while the likes of Mark Henry, on the other hand, previously suggested that Hogan would need to “sincerely” apologize to WWE’s African-American wrestlers before he can be allowed to return to the company. As for WWE itself, Wrestling News wrote that the company’s decision might hinge primarily on whether its sponsors react positively or negatively to a potential Hogan return.