Continuing to disregard Jim Ross' advice, the Hulk Hogan redemption tour hit Sports Illustrated in the form of an interview with Justin Barrasso for their Extra Mustard blog.
Once again characterizing the situation where he was taped using racial slurs as a moment of anger that isn't indicative of his attitudes towards African-Americans, there's not much new in terms of explanations or apologies in the piece. But Hogan does offer his side of how his exit from WWE went for the first time:
I never talked to Vince. The only person I talked to was Triple H. I called him and told him there was some old news coming out from when TMZ first reported the tape and there were some racial slurs on it. Triple H said, "OK, thanks for calling. Let me talk to Vince."
He called me back a half hour later and he goes, "I've got some news and it isn't good. Vince said that you need to resign." I never heard from Vince or talked to Vince. In the middle of the night, they just fired me.
He says that he and his attorney offered to issue a statement explaining the situation, but WWE declined. While he understands the actions the publicly-traded company had to make, he's surprised how they handled him - and seems to believe that he should have been offered help from the company similar to their policy of helping wrestlers with drug & alcohol problems get treatment:
They had to do what was best for business. Triple H was telling me the USA Network was reacting very badly, and they had to make a quick decision, and that was to put me out to pasture. They were under heavy fire and they were scrambling.
That's not characteristic of what the WWE does. Vince McMahon reaches out and helps people. If you're a drug abuser or you abuse alcohol, Vince McMahon and the WWE reach out and help people. So what's so uncommon about this was they took the symptoms, said, "Oh my god, there's a symptom of being a racist," and threw me away. They usually go to the source. They've known me for over 30 years and they know I'm not a racist, so they should have went to the source. I don't use the word, ever, except for in that moment of anger, so I wish WWE went to the source instead of the symptoms. I could have explained I've tried every day since then to be a better man.
As he continues, in this interview and in general, to tell the world that what they heard on those tapes isn't who he is, and that he hopes to educate other people about not using racial slurs, he still hopes for another chance. And he only wants that chance to be with WWE, and for it to include a sit down with McMahon:
The only place for me to be would be the WWE. That's where my home is. I thought I'd go step-by-step, crawling uphill with WWE, to explain how wrong I was, but that opportunity wasn't there.
I'd love to sit down and connect with Vince. A lot of people make mistakes. If we were all judged by our weakest moment, it would be a sad world. If I had a chance to work with Vince and help people, we could help fix a lot of things together.
Time will tell is that conversation, and reconciliation, ever happen. For now, the Hogan tour continues on to England, and charging $100+ for photos with the disgraced legend.