This is going to be a touchy one. Earlier this year, Kofi Kingston became the first ever African American WWE Champion (the Rock came close but is half Samoan). This was a big deal for the company and the title itself, which ad existed for over fifty years without an African American champion. Kingston had proven himself over a long period of time and more than earned the right to be the champion. It was a nice moment for the business when it came to the subject of race, but that does not mean things are going to be perfect, which was proven in a recent controversial moment.
Over the weekend, NXT star Jordan Myles, formerly ACH, posted an image to Twitter of a shirt bearing his name that WWE had produced. Myles says that the shirt is reminiscent of blackface and minstrel shows, both of which are considered racist against African Americans. The shirt depicts Myles’ name in what could be seen as the shape of a large mouth with the letters resembling teeth. Myles has protested the shirt on Twitter, though he does acknowledge that it has been replaced with another more generic design.
WWE has issued a statement on the shirt, which reads as follows:
“Albert Hardie Jr. (aka Jordan Myles) approved this t-shirt for sale. As always, we work collaboratively with all of our performers to develop logos and merchandise designs and get their input and approval before proceeding. This was the same process with Albert, and we responded swiftly once he later requested that the logo/t-shirt be redesigned. No t-shirts were sold.”
The situation created quite a stir. Check out most of Myles’ tweets on the issue:
Opinion: I’m really not sure where to start with this one. Myles is someone who has shown some promise in NXT and even won the Breakout Tournament to earn a shot at the NXT Title. However, there is a very good chance that this is going to see a downturn in his career and I would not be surprised to see him released in a few months. I don’t know if this was something intentional or just an honest mistake, but I could see what Myles is talking about. Myles certainly feels strongly about it though and there is nothing wrong with him saying what he thinks about the whole thing.
Let’s look at something a little better about Myles. Check out Myles challenging for the NXT Title:
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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