In 2013, Ring of Honor’s Jay Briscoe sent out a vile tweet about gay marriage. ROH distanced themselves from their then-World champion’s homophobic message, and Briscoe issued an apology & announced donations to an anti-hate non-profit several days later.
That quelled the controversy, but it never went away. Both Jay and his brother & tag partner Mark are still considered bigots by some. That reputation allegedly cost them a WWE deal, and a recent report indicating it led a “person of influence” at WarnerMedia to nix Tony Khan’s plan to sign the Briscoes to AEW.
With that report out in the world, and questions about what’s next for the decorated tag team now that Khan owns Ring of Honor, the Briscoes are again addressing Jay’s Twitter homophobia.
On the Mar. 16 edition of Battleground Podcast (via Fightful), Jay & Mark claim their old tweets were the result of a misunderstanding of their own religious beliefs, which have since evolved and been clarified.
Jay: I put out a stupid tweet nine years ago, the most dumbest, immature, obnoxious shit I’ve ever done. I don’t want anybody, from any walk of life, to feel like they can’t care for the Briscoes because I promise we love everybody. We love everybody and we just want to go out there and be pro wrestlers and give the best match that we can. I said some dumb shit a long time ago, I apologized for it and I’ll apologize for it again. It was stupid. I feel like now there are people who look at us like, ‘we can’t cheer for them because they hate a certain group of people.’ We don’t hate nobody. We love everybody. We’re just some country boys. I thought I was taking a stand for the Lord back in the day
Mark: You realized, from that immaturity, that’s not what you were doing because anything, God and the Lord, he has love above anything. That card trumps anything else. What you thought you were doing, taking a stand for the Lord, was counterproductive to the kingdom of God, not only to being a human being and relating with other humans that we live with and love.
Jay: I feel like people label us a certain way. Trust me, we’re not like that.
As these things go, it’s a good apology. Jay emphatically denounces his past views, and they both discuss why those views changed.
It’s not the only thing in their favor. The Briscoes have people like ROH’s Ian Riccaboni vouching for them as changed men. Critics, however, will point out the 2013 tweet wasn’t Jay’s first homophobic post, and multiple first-person accounts of their using a fan’s Gay Pride flag as a weapon in a match during their heel run in 2018. Their use of the Confederate flag as part of their gear & entrances is also a mark against them.
Will this latest apology change any minds? In 2022, it seems unlikely, but I guess we’ll find out.
Check out Battle & Eli’s entire conversation with Dem Boys here.