Earlier today, we shared the story of Owen Steen, eight year old son of new WWE Universal champion Kevin Owens, and his reaction to his father’s big night on Raw this past Monday (Aug. 29).
Lots of wrestling and real sports outlets covered it, and a Tweet from USA Today’s “For the Win” blog promoting their coverage caught the eye of ESPN NBA analyst Amin Elhassan. Elhassan then made the wholly original and insightful allegation that pro wrestling isn’t “real”:
8-year-old son of WWE's Kevin Owens was so overwhelmed about his dad winning title belt https://t.co/IaCD5wY8st pic.twitter.com/gTHbVg4Kn0— For The Win (@ForTheWin) August 31, 2016
Until someone told him it was scripted. https://t.co/Mzfwfj8AZ3— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) August 31, 2016
While the Sportscenter regular probably wasn’t going for anything more than the usual trolling guys like Colin Cowherd and Doug Gottlieb occassionally aim at wrestling fans, his has the extra douche-y element of making fun of a child being excited for his father’s accomplishment (scripted or no).
This has, of course, prompted a ton of responses from fans defending wrestling, Owens and Owen, or just pointing out what a crappy thing it is to do to go out of your way to rain on someone else’s parade:
@AminESPN It's easy joking with the passion of the people, when you not live it... Respect the wrestling! pic.twitter.com/DP3T84TRT8— Diego (@diegp77) August 31, 2016
@AminESPN @ForTheWin Kevin has worked hard for years, people in the industry doubted him but he never gave up on his dream & he has made it— Robert Williams (@wrexham_canuck) August 31, 2016
.@AminESPN @ForTheWin using an 8 year old for your "hot takes" tweets is a low we all should expect from an ESPN employee.— Samantha G. (@samthrax) August 31, 2016
Along with defenses from “real” sports fans and others who like riling up people.
Several wrestlers and other insiders have responded (not quite to Conor McGregor levels), but the best one comes from Cody Rhodes:
Don't try too hard to pen some zinger at the ESPN guy— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) August 31, 2016
Some get it, some don't
Don't make him a thing. Nobody knew him b4 he mentioned Kev
No one likes it when the stuff they like is ridiculed, and it is particularly low to use a child to do so (a lot of replies have mentioned Owen being autistic, which is something I’ve heard as well, but I couldn’t find anywhere where KO or his wife have spoken on record about their son being on the spectrum - and Elhassan says knowing that wouldn’t change his stance, anyway - so that’s really none of our business as fans).
But you’re not going to change anyone’s mind, and attention is exactly what someone wants when they fire off a Tweet like Elhassan’s.
Support wrestlers, and wrestling, and fellow fans.
Don’t feed the trolls.