Just a few days ago, one of CM Punk's dearest friends, Natalie Slater, wrote an article over at Red Eye Chicago in which she riffed on, for lack of a better phrase, how it absolutely sucks to be famous. Punk, one of the top stars in WWE over the past four years or so, is constantly harassed and hounded by fans.
That's only gotten worse throughout this year because Punk has been the biggest story in pro wrestling since he left the industry early one evening in January and hasn't looked back. He hasn't mentioned a word about it, not publicly, and that's only driven curiosity in fans who are hopeful he'll surprise them by returning sometime soon.
Which leads me to the only two logical points I can make here:
1. CM Punk should release a statement publicly revealing his career intentions
2. Fans should back the hell off
Let me make clear that I am not saying Punk owes anyone anything. He doesn't. There are quite a few fans who like to think of Punk as a man who is made by fans therefore he owes said fans and I couldn't disagree more with that line of thinking. Punk owed WWE when he signed a contract to perform; I just tuned in to watch him fulfill that agreement.
And it was fun, and because of that I'll hope he comes back. But I won't take that hope and have it manifest in camping out behind his house to take pictures of him when he takes his trash out, as Ms. Slater revealed has actually happened.
This should go without saying, but don't stalk CM Punk. If you have his address in Chicago -- which is, sadly, publicly available -- don't use it. He's a celebrity, yes, but he's also a person who deserves basic human decency and he's certainly entitled to his privacy and you shouldn't violate that.
There's a ton of video floating around everywhere that features the man doing incredibly entertaining things, not performing arduous daily tasks like putting his trash cans on the curb.
With that said, I believe Punk would help his cause by simply releasing a statement himself that makes clear his career intentions. He doesn't have to and, to be clear, he shouldn't have to. People should, as he put, just leave him alone and let him live out his days however he sees fit.
But how much effort would it take to do something simple like sign in to Twitter and send out a tweet officially announcing his retirement and intent to move on from pro wrestling? That would kill any and all speculation that the near complete radio silence is because it's entirely possible he's not finished; that he could be thinking of coming back at some point; that WWE has shown incredible restraint in how the powers that be have handled the situation despite Punk walking out at one of the most important times in the company's history because maybe the two sides want that bridge to remain instead of burning it down.
In fairness, Slater referred to him as "recently retired" in her article. That said, Punk would likely make his life a lot easier just by making it clear he's not coming back.
But even if he never says another word about pro wrestling or WWE, fans should back off.