It's been a big week for the stars and creators of small screen entertainment, with the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills taking place.
HBO was one of the channels giving their presentation today, and in between a lot of questions about Jon Snow, that meant Dwayne Johnson was available for questions about his sports dramedy series, Ballers. The show, about a retired NFL star transitioning to working as an agent & financial adviser football players still has four episodes to go on its first season, and has already been renewed for a second. Because...it's The Rock.
During his spot (which those who disliked how infrequently he was in arenas during his last few WWE feuds will enjoy knowing was via satellite), Johnson offered his first public thoughts on the Hulk Hogan scandal. And for a mixed race man to whom the slur Hogan used on two different tapes would apply, Rocky was pretty understanding - perhaps because he, his African-Canadian father and his Samoan uncles have all worked with Hulk:
I was pretty disappointed with what I heard, like all of us, by the way. Pretty disappointed. I've known Terry for a lot of years, my dad helped train him in Florida in the '70s when he was breaking into the business. ... My uncles helped train him too as well. I have not known the man to be racist.
Some of that understanding seems to come from a locker room mentality that Johnson, a college and briefly professional football player himself in addition to his career in pro wrestling, is very familiar:
It's funny, it's one of those things where — and not justifying what he said — we've all talked trash, especially in private.
In the end, The Champ sides with his business partner Vince McMahon regarding the consequences for Hogan from the remarks which have offended so many:
He said what he said, and he's paying the price.