According to PWInsider, Vince McMahon reportedly sent out an important email to every WWE employee on Wednesday afternoon. The contents of the email addressed the importance of diversity and the company’s support of it following the death of George Floyd, who was suffocated by a police officer in Minnesota last week.
In the email, McMahon also announced some of the support that will be available to employees moving forward. These services include 24/7 mental health counseling and an outlet for addressing diversity concerns, should any matter ever need to be brought to the company’s attention. The email also reportedly contained some links to diversity training courses, which will be available to WWE staff members free-of-charge.
Floyd’s death has opened up more conversations about racism in America, and WWE has taken a stance on the matter. As documented by Sportskeeda, the company released an official statement about its dedication to diversity earlier this week.
“WWE supports an inclusive society and condemns racial injustice. We stand beside our Black performers, employees and fans around the world, and encourage everyone to use their voice to speak out against racism. We offer our sincere condolences to the family of George Floyd and the families of countless others who have lost their lives due to senseless violence.”
— WWE (@WWE) March 15, 2016
The statement and email also followed in the wake of comments made by Linda Hogan and Friday Night SmackDown‘s Jaxson Ryker. Hogan described those protesting Floyd’s death as “afro Americans” who “need to be civilized,” and her comments have led to her being banned from All Elite Wrestling shows.
Ryker, meanwhile, tweeted his support of Donald Trump, which resulted in an old tweet resurfacing where he called the Black Lives Matter movement “garbage.” As the Sportskeeda report highlights, the tweets caught the attention of Kevin Owens, Dave Bautista, and other WWE employees who condemned Ryker on their own social media accounts.
It’s unknown whether the outrage over these incidents sparked WWE’s decision to reiterate its commitment to diversity. The company is apolitical for the most part these days, but the controversial views of certain superstars and affiliated persons have also caused the company to receive some bad publicity.
WWE has also been criticized for racism in the past. McMahon used a racial slur in a televised segment involving John Cena and Booker T several years ago, which didn’t go down too well with fans. The company has also presented support of Black causes as a bad thing, as evidenced by the decision to make the Nation of Domination a heel faction.