How can WWE move forward with Crown Jewel? How can a company that prides itself on the positive impact it has on the world through things like Connor’s Cure, their work with Make-a-Wish and Susan G. Koman among plenty of others, go ahead with the idea of holding another show in Saudi Arabia?
In this column I’ve already talked about the human rights nightmares in Saudi Arabia, the detaining and possible execution of activists and a lot more -- all while Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bangs the drum of progress because women can drive in the country now.
Mohammad bin Salman has paid WWE to put on shows as part of his Saudi Vision 2030 plan. These shows are, and there is no argument to the contrary, government-paid propaganda events. Far different from if WWE were putting on the shows themselves the way they would anywhere else.
How then, can WWE continue to turn a blind eye to the actions of the Saudi government as the entire world sees more and more monstrous behavior?
The story of Jamal Khashoggi is one of the dominant items in the news and yet another disturbing example of bin Salman’s true nature.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and has not been seen since. Turkish authorities came forward to say they believe Khashoggi was murdered by a Saudi security team when attempting to pick up personal documents. US intelligence intercepts state Saudi officials were heard discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi from Virginia, where he lives, back to Saudi Arabia where he would be detained. One theory posits the plan was to capture Khashoggi before things went wrong and he was instead murdered.
Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the Saudi government and bin Salman in particular and intelligence supports the theory that the order for the operation to capture and/or kill the journalist came from the Crown Prince himself.
Democrats and Republicans are calling for an investigation into the situation and President Donald Trump has said the idea the Saudi government was responsible for murdering Khashoggi is “looking a little bit like that,” and has also said, “”This is a bad situation. We cannot let this happen - to reporters, to anybody.”
Given this story and the murder of a Washington Post journalist for critical reporting, how can WWE possibly go ahead with Crown Jewel? Obviously, the answer is “because the event will make them a lot of money.”
But what is the point where money is not enough to override morals -- or does that point not exist for WWE?
If the show does go ahead, is there any way WWE doesn’t spend five hours talking about the Vision 2030 plan and the progress and change being made in a country alleged to have dismembered a body with a bonesaw because the same man paying WWE for propaganda events couldn’t handle critical press?
The decision to move the event from Saudi Arabia should be an easy one. In fact, it should be seen as a necessary decision.
WWE just has to see human rights as more important than money, something I don’t know they can be trusted to do.
Requests for statements and interviews from WWE officials have gone unanswered as of publication.
- We have a pair of recap and reactions posts for you today. First up, last night’s edition of NXT. Then, go check out the Mae Young Classic.
- Tonight is Impact Wrestling and that means it’s time to check out the show preview.
- Kenny Omega isn’t planning to be slowed down by an injured rib.
- Michelle McCool seems very ready for WWE Evolution.
- SmackDown Live’s ratings were fairly steady from last week.
- Jimmy Fallon and John Cena did things.
- Shouldn’t Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair headline Evolution given the length and depth of their story?
- Reports suggest Kevin Owens really is injured.
Another week almost done. Don’t do anything stupid.