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Charlotte Flair addresses Dave Meltzer/Peyton Royce situation on ESPN

Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if something has pierced the internet wrestling bubble and reached the wider world.

Even if ESPN isn’t the end-all, be-all of sports coverage it was at its peak, having it brought up on the network is a pretty good indicator an issue has gotten at least some attention in the mainstream pop culture-verse.

While doing pre-SummerSlam press on ESPN’s Get Up! morning show today (Aug. 17), after covering the usual topics about her match in Brooklyn on Sunday, what it was like growing up Flair, playfully trash-talking Ronda Rousey and the MMA Four Horsewomen, co-host Jalen Rose asked Charlotte Flair about Wednesday’s Twitter controversy.

For those who may have missed it, a clip of Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer discussing Peyton Royce’s appearance as a possible factor in her and Billie Kay not succeeding thus far on the main roster went viral, and Royce and numerous wrestlers and co-workers responded to defend Peyton and criticize Meltzer. You can read up on it here.

The dust seemed to have settled, but the storm was enough to get the attention of the basketball player-turned-sports talker:

Rose: Just recently, a prominent writer had some not so flattering comments about the appearance of one of your fellow wrestlers, Peyton Royce, and just talking about how...

Flair: Oh, don’t get me heated...

Rose: ... that’s why I’m bringing it up. What about overcoming those stereotypes that come with your sport and when people make comments like this?

Flair: Well, that’s what’s amazing about our job, is we do have the platform to make a difference and voice our opinions on certain things like that. In terms of her appearance being criticized I just go, ‘aren’t we past that?’

You wouldn’t see someone sitting her saying, ‘Oh, well Roman Reigns’ hair is phenomenal’ or ‘Seth’s abs’ or people wouldn’t be like ‘AJ Styles on TNA looked better than WWE’. It shouldn’t be a topic of conversation. And I know that we’re Superstars and people see as untouchable, but we’re human. And when you see negativity like that, it’s got to hurt her.

Like I just wanted to text her and be like, ‘Listen. Ignore that.’ And my dad always said, ‘If they’re talking about you, you must be doing something right.’ And that’s what they were doing, they were talking about her, so whether it was her looks or not, that’s - you would think that we’re past that.

It’s definitely very interesting the topic came up in this forum, but I doubt it will do anything but fan the flames.

A point of contention in the discussion has been that, since wrestling is an entertainment business and the entertainment business not only reflects but magnifies society’s obsession with attractiveness, Meltzer discussing Royce’s “look” shouldn’t be out of bounds - even if the where and how of his bringing it up was clumsy and problematic. Flair claiming men’s appearance isn’t a topic of conversation among fans, critics and management is not accurate.

There is a discussion to be had about the different ways that conversation happens depending on the gender of who is being talked about, but that hasn’t happened in any of the tweets or soundbites from WWE Superstars thus far.

Certainly not the end...

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