Hulk Hogan is reinstated by the WWE and has said all of the right things, but WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry tells me that Hogan needs to do a bit more.
“I wasn’t going to roll out the red carpet and start going to have dinner with him if he wasn’t willing to do all the s**t that I said he needed to do,” Henry told me.
Dubbed “The World’s Strongest Man,” Henry is a two-time World Champion and was also once the WWE’s European Champion. He was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame Class this year.
Henry has spoken to Hogan since the infamous racist comments that led to the WWE parting ways with Hogan. Henry says that he’s offered suggestions to Hogan on ways to make the workplace great again. “To start, he needs to go to some of these black universities, to these law students and let them grill him and own it and apologize,” said Henry.
“Not because you got caught, but apologize because you honestly feel remorse. He said that he found God and he touched my heart when he said that, because I know what God will do, so if God touched him, God will also say speak up, and when you reveal your past, you can go on in the future and I still don’t think he’s still completely revealed it.”
Hogan made his return to the wrestling ring after a three-year hiatus from the WWE.
Last weekend, Hogan appeared on the WWE’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia. Appearing in his red bandana and customary Hulkamania tank top, Hogan assured the crowd that he missed them.
“You know something maniacs, it feels so good to be out here in front of the whole WWE Universe and to be out here with my stark raven Hulkamaniacs,” Hogan said to the crowd in Saudi Arabia.
If you’re tardy to the party, Hogan and the WWE parted ways with Hogan after an 8-year-old sex tape resurfaced with Hogan not only making homophobic comments but using the n-word repeatedly.
Hogan was reported to be upset that his daughter, Brooke was dating a black man.
As per the Daily Beast, Hogan reportedly said: “I don’t know if Brooke was fucking the black guy’s son,” Hogan is reported to have said to Clem.
“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f***nig n****rs. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.”
Also per The Daily Beast Hogan also stated: “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*** some n****r, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n****r worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!”
“I guess we’re all a little racist. F****ng n****r,” he concluded.
Forbes’ Alfred Konuwa said it best in an article he wrote in July when he stated: Rather than offering up black community stamps of approval, which would be ideal for WWE PR, multiple prominent black WWE Superstars seem to be lukewarm at best when it comes to Hogan’s reinstatement into the WWE Hall of Fame.
WWE’s Kofi Kingston wasn’t pleased. This summer, Kingston was asked via Twitter how he felt about Hogan’s actions and how other wrestlers of color processed Hogan’s contrition since. “How do we feel? Indifferent,” he said, in a lengthy statement, via Twitter.
“We are not happy, or sad, angry or resentful. Who WWE puts into the HOF is totally and completely up to the company and from a career standpoint, there is no argument on whether or not Hogan should have his place. We have no problem with his re-induction in the slightest degree. It is impossible to even begin to mention the history and evolution of the business without mentioning his name and accolades.”
“On a personal level, when someone makes racist and hateful comments about any race or group of people, especially to the degree that Hogan made about our people, we find it difficult to simply forget, regardless of how long ago it was, or the situation in which those comments were made. But we also do not respond with more feelings of hate. Instead, we just do not associate with the people who convey or have conveyed this negative and hurtful mindset. This instance will be no different. Perhaps if we see him make a genuine effort to change, then maybe our opinion will change with him. Time will tell.”
WWE Superstar, Titus O’Neil was in line with Kingston’s line of thinking, stating via Twitter:
“unfortunately I must echo the sentiment and dissatisfaction expressed by many of my contemporaries concerning Mr. Bollea’s apology and its true lack of contrition, remorse and desire to change.”
Henry told me he has spoken to other wrestlers of color about the Hogan situation.
“There’s been a mixed bag on how to resolve it. “I’ve had people being like, “to hell with him” and I’ve had people going, “you know what, if he do this and he do that, OK.”
The bottom line?
“It’s up to him,” said Henry.
“It’s not up to me.”