Tony Khan has drawn criticism in the past for some of his public statements and AEW’s handling of controversies. His response to Jeff Hardy’s latest DUI arrest shouldn’t.
There had been some heat for AEW’s continued silence on the matter, but Khan addresses that in his first sentence — the company wanted to get in touch with Hardy before speaking on the matter. He condemns his star’s actions, punishes Jeff for them by suspending him without pay, extends an offer to help him get treatment (which he has apparently accepted and agreed to — unlike when WWE made the same offer last year), and sets conditions that he’ll need to complete that treatment and adhere to a program which will help him maintain his sobriety in order to return.
With addiction, there is no one, right answer. There’s no guarantee this approach will work. But (and I say this as a person in recovery with 15 years of sobriety who has worked with a lot of fellow addicts and alcoholics, with the typical mixed results, over the years) it’s hard to imagine what will at this point. AEW’s mix of consequences and a little compassion seems like a logical way to handle someone who’s struggled to overcome his dependence on drugs & alcohol for years.
Here’s hoping it works.