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Former WWE wrestler JTG wrote a blog on ‘The Sports Daily’ where he discussed why Hulk Hogan’s apology doesn’t feel genuine to him.
Below are some excerpts from his blog:
“See, not only did my hero use the n-word in the context that he did, he also admitted to being racist,” JTG said. “Lets put aside for a second that he said ‘f–king N—-r,’ let’s focus on the fact Hulk Hogan ADMITTED to being a racist!”
“I don’t hear the heartfelt passion of a man looking to right a wrong and heal a community he realizes he hurt.”
“Honestly, when I hear Hogan asking for forgiveness, his sorry doesn’t sound genuine to me. I don’t hear the heartfelt passion of a man looking to right a wrong and heal a community he realizes he hurt. Instead, Hogan comes off to me as though he’s actually only apologizing for getting caught. I learned through experience that “sorry” is just a word. If you catch a friend stabbing you behind your back and you turn around and confront them and all they have to say is “I’m sorry,” is it sincere? When you tell them the knife still in your back and it hurts, can you take it out, and your friend makes excuses and defends his actions and still doesn’t acknowledge the knife that’s in your back, is their apology really genuine? A friend that is really sorry will acknowledge the knife, take it out, help heal your wound, and then apologize.
When specifically asked by TMZ if he agreed with WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry on whether he owed Black wrestlers an apology before returning to WWE in some capacity, Hogan responded by saying, “I totally agree with him, not to the black wrestlers, to all the wrestlers. What I said was way out of line and I’m forever sorry for that.” To me, that felt like the #AllLivesMatter answer to #BlackLivesMatter. Hogan just doesn’t seem to get it.”
“The first step towards resolution is admitting to yourself that you are a racist and making a genuine, conscious effort to understand the danger in your beliefs and work to change them.”
“So, Hogan, the ball is in your court, BROTHER! Whatcha gonna do, when Black wrestling fans and African Americans worldwide have turned their backs on YOU!”
On the other hand, former WWE & TNA wrestler Elijah Burke (“The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero) has shared a cool story of his time working with Hulk Hogan.
After sharing the story, Elijah noted that he forgives Hulk Hogan.
Below is what Elijah posted on Facebook:
Pope’s unfiltered thoughts on Hulk Hogan’s Reinstatement into the WWE Hall Of Fame:
“So as we all have learned by now, Hulk Hogan is back with the WWE. This move has garnered a lot of attention as everyone knew it would, some good and some not so good. So before I give my stance on where I stand on this whole ordeal, I’d like to reflect back on the man behind the legend, the person I came to know somewhat personally over the years while we worked together in TNA, Terry Bollea, whom I’ll refer to obviously as “Hulk or Hogan.”
I’d previously met Hulk during my stint in WWE at which time I had not even scratched the surface as far as getting my foot wet in the business. He along with Jimmy Hart and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake was walking around inside the arena checking it out before his big match with Randy Orton at WWE’s Summerslam PPV. I went up and embraced Jimmy Hart who has always been a lovable individual and then introduced myself to Hogan and shook his hand. It was the first time I’d ever got to shake the hand of the legendary bigger than life superhero whom I grew up watching, and while I was on edge in the moment trying to be respectful of the man’s time, he shot around some questions to me and gave some advice on “playing the game” before moving on. I walked away thinking, “Man, Hulk was mad cool.”
Fast forward four years later, if someone had told me that myself and Hogan would be working side by side, standing and posing in the ring together with blood running down the face of Hulk, I’d say they were insane but that is exactly what happened. The kid whom 4 years earlier was given advice on how to play the game was now IN the game saving this legendary hero from a beat down being led by another childhood idol and favorite, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. It was stuff that anybody who grew up watching the sport of wrestling could only dream of, to be in the ring with the 2 biggest superstars in wrestling history, truly an Amazing Moment in my career.
I remember at the end of that night Hulk drenched in blood and sweat retreated to his private dressing room. I wanted to thank him again for the opportunity as I was still on a rush from the activities that transpired earlier. I started heading towards his room and saw that the door was wide open, I could see him sitting behind his desk but as I neared I noticed that he had company so I decided to make a U-turn as to not interrupt. All of a sudden, “Pope, where you going brother? Come on in and join me.” I turned around and entered Hulk’s private room where he was joined by, you guessed it, Brutus “The F’ing” Barber Beefcake and they were knocking down a couple of cold ones. Hulk, with his face and hair still soaked in blood offered me a beer to which I politely declined (I don’t drink, but it would’ve been cool if I did just to say so but the offer was cool enough) and we sat and chatted before I left them to be and departed for the night.
That was important for me to share because this became somewhat of a common thing with me and Hulk. It was during this time that Hogan was going thru a lot of personal hardships and struggles as detailed by the A&E documentary entitled “Finding Hulk Hogan.” I had NO idea that over the next year or so that I’d become cool with Hulk and his family. Brooke and I joked and flirted on the regular. She would often sit beside Mama Pope and scream her lungs out for me during my matches. Nick was always fun when he was around, respectful too. But the really “cool” part was Hulk letting me in. The things he would share with me when he had time to talk I simply didn’t feel like I was privy to. He shared personal detailed accounts of things he was going through at the time with me about his personal life, his business dealings, the dark place he was in but would always acknowledge that he’s in a better place now because of his current wife and him giving his life to Christ.
So now through interacting with Hogan and talking with him more and more I’ve become aware that Hogan is a believer and to his knowledge or not, he’d been talking and confiding in not just a black man, cause his new pastor was black, but he was confiding in another believer, specifically Pope. He would often share with me what his Pastor spoke on the Sunday before. Now, being that Pope is a believer I personally believe in forgiveness. Not just from God above, but from your peers among you. To forgive is to release yourself from a certain stronghold moreso than it is for the individual you are forgiving. I do believe that we all at times in our lives have done and said things that are unbecoming of us and out of character. While consequences are often a result of such error, your error shouldn’t be your definitive story. It’s what you are doing today that should determine who you are, not what you did 10-20 years ago. We as people believe in rehabilitation. We know that some can be reformed while others simply refuse to. With Hulk, I simply don’t feel that is the case. While I was upset and disappointed just as many of you were (and maybe still are), try this: “think about the worst thing that you have done thus far in your life, post it on social media and see what the world thinks of you.” Of course, no one would do such, and if so I doubt it would be a moment of truthfulness because we see ourselves thru filtered lenses, standing SO CLOSE to the mirror that we can’t see ourselves in our own wrong. Therefore we find a certain level of escape by spending so much time wishing to destroy others in their fault instead of seeing them as we all are, imperfect humans, many who are simply in need of help or guidance.
Here’s an example of my best friend for years who was a size 15 barefoot walking, 260lb redneck (wait, is that politically correct to say?) and I as well as him over the years said things to each other out of anger, but never once in my heart did I consider him a racist, or likewise. We didn’t judge each other off of what we said during our heated moments of anger, but we judged each other off of our actions, and our actions dictated that we were two brothers of different colors that loved each other unconditionally who (as the term goes today) would “Ride or Die” for each other. I’ll never forget taking him to my church and him coming to the front to sing with me the old gospel classic, “Sweet Home.” Lol
For me to hold hate in my heart for Hogan’s “sin” would imprison me, in turn causing me to be a vessel of hate myself which I simply have no time or energy for. The man behind the legend made a mistake and unfortunately will have to live with it for the rest of his life. There’s no need to take someone’s lively-hood away from them because of there past mistake. Not an ideology, but an admitted mistake during the same time the man placed a gun in his mouth.
So just take a moment to think about who your working with, or who serves you, or who’s riding next to you, or who you’re working for, etc. We are living in a world with all types of people who have done and said unthinkable things, HORRIBLE and VILE things, yet you know not of them, so you smile, laugh, and maybe even think the world of them. But furthermore think of yourself and how you look at yourself everyday in the mirror knowing your own faults…but I digress.
Hulk, if you are truly the man whom I believe you to be then you know that “Whom The Son sets free, is free indeed.” Go forward and live your life accordingly accepting the good, and weathering the bad while continuing to be a positive mark on humanity that you have been for over 3 decades.
In closing, I simply want to say, “HULK HOGAN….I Forgive You.” ~PHS
(2 Cor 5:17) “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
Hulk Hogan had the following to say regarding this statement from Elijah:
“This one hit me really hard!! Thanks Pope, I love you my brother HH”
Speaking of Hogan, he recently appeared on Apter Chat and talked about being reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame, apologizing to the WWE roster backstage at Extreme Rules 2018 & more.
Below are the highlights (credit to Wrestlinginc for transcription):
On Triple H keeping an eye on what he was doing and talking with Vince McMahon:
“Triple H knew what I was doing with the Boys & Girls Club and there was a common bond there so he kept a good eye on what I was doing and I kept him aware of when I was doing appearances and what we had going.
So then we started talking about different things like Saudi Arabia and stuff like that. I said, ‘man I’d really just love to talk to Vince.’ I’d texted Vince back-and-forth on birthday and he texted me on New Years and stuff like this, but we never really good conversation. So all of a sudden, my phone rings and it’s ‘hey monster, how you doing?’ So we talked and it was like, ‘wow man,’ we had been texting back and forth but I hadn’t heard Vince’s voice and it was just so good to hear his voice.
He hasn’t changed a bit, same old intense Vince and we talked and it was a great conversation.”
On getting reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame and apologizing to the WWE roster backstage at Extreme Rules 2018:
“I get to Pittsburgh, but right before we got to the building my phone was blowing up going ‘congratulations, you’re back in the Hall Of Fame. I had no idea they had put me in the Hall Of Fame. I thought we were just gonna go there and talk.
I thought, ‘wow, that’s so cool,’ it made me grin from ear to ear. I didn’t start crying because I had two other men in the car with me. I get to the building and they had everybody in a room and I walked in the room and I made it very clear in my head what I wanted to say.”
On how WWE wrestlers reacted to his apology:
“A lot of people accepted my apology. A lot of them heard what they wanted to hear and a lot of the narrative that came out of the meeting was on point. A lot of the narrative was really different because I was surprised to see some people interpret what I said to say I was sorry I got caught on camera or whatever they interpreted it. I never said that.
I guess the media and people go with the most negative narrative they can come out of there. But that’s pretty much what happened and that’s how I got put back into the Hall Of Fame. I was on the way to the meeting and I was put in before I got there which is really, really cool.
It is what it is. I said those words, it was totally unacceptable and I just really wanted to get in front of all the talent and apologize because I know I hurt this business. You know I just wanna move forward. I just hope the brotherhood can get back to the way it was because you know, when you’re in the ring and somebody is bodyslamming somebody or piledriving somebody you protect your brother and you make sure physically that they’re safe.
Outside the ring you’re supposed to protect your brother, you know? In this case it’s a situation where you know, 75- 80-90% of the wrestlers are protecting me, they’re giving me another chance to move forward. But, you know there’s just a few wrestlers that kinda don’t understand the bond that the brotherhood of wrestling if someone makes a mistake you need to forgive them and move on and try to let them prove themselves.
I just feel that I wish I could kinda have one-on-one conversations with people who really don’t know me and try to maybe explain myself better. But, you know all in all it was a great day. It’s just a highlight of my life to be able to be back in the Hall Of Fame and to be able to move forward. So it’s been a great time these last couple of weeks.”