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Circumstances surrounding Alberto Del Rio's WWE firing raise questions

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What we know happened

On Thurs., Aug. 7, 2014, Alberto Del Rio was released by WWE for what the company called "unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee".

On Fri., Aug. 8, 2014, WWE tweets the following, which was retweeted by Triple H himself:

What we think may have happened based on reports/rumors

The story that has appeared on various sites of varying degrees of credibility goes something like this: A man, who may or may not be someone named Cody Barbierri, who is a social media manager at WWE, was asked to clean off his plate at catering. This person joked that that is "Del Rio's job". This information got back to Del Rio, who apparently confronted the person and demanded an apology. When he didn't get one, and this person may have smiled at Alberto instead, Del Rio slapped him.

The issue

WWE's handling of this is nothing short of bizarre.

Alberto Del Rio was fired for having an altercation with an employee and WWE has, or at least showed here, a zero tolerance policy for as much. This wouldn't seem to be something fans would argue against on any level. You cannot, under any circumstances, hit your co-workers.

However, if the rumors are true, Del Rio was also a victim of racism in the workplace. That does not, in any way, justify his actions. His firing is just. But what, then, of the Social Media Manager who made the racist remark in the first place? The only accounts of the incident available to the general public indicate this person made a racist joke and was unapologetic when confronted about said joke by the person they were being racist towards.

It is entirely possible this alleged Social Media Manager was punished but if that is the case we have no way of knowing because WWE has yet to give any details on the matter outside of the initial statement. For the record, I contacted WWE to get any available information shortly after Del Rio was fired and was told there was nothing more beyond what was released to

This would call into question the tweets sent out by the official company Twitter account. Absent the full story, with only rumors to go on, those tweets read as an attempt to sway public opinion before all the facts have been made available. This is peculiar because WWE is not reporting on the full situation, instead simply stating that Del Rio was unprofessional in his altercation with a WWE employee. Again, to be clear, those actions would not become acceptable if he was reacting to a racist remark made about him. With that said, that added detail could serve to sway public opinion back in favor of Del Rio.

It also raises necessary questions regarding what is being done about the alleged racism Del Rio was a victim of, and why the tweets were sent out as the only other comment on the story. If the story is true as is being rumored/reported, it's worth questioning where the tweets came from -- Social Media Manager is the title of the person who was allegedly slapped -- and why they were ever published to begin with.

WWE is not outright condoning racism here but, again, if all this story is true, those tweets make it appear as though the hope is fans will focus their anger on Del Rio for striking a WWE employee and ignore that he may have only done so in response to racism. What's more, WWE is absolutely aware of the rumors that are floating around and it's at least possible those tweets are actually a response to said rumors, which looks even worse.

Alberto Del Rio's firing is just. But if his actions were a response to racism, further disciplinary action is in order and WWE avoiding that issue while doing its best to deflect 100-percent blame to Del Rio is troublesome to say the least.

Del Rio deserves his punishment but it sounds like the alleged Social Media Manager deserves to be punished as well.

We'll update when/if any more details become available.

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