I don’t like talking about the same topic on back-to-back days in this column. Consider today the exception.
Yesterday, when contrasting the WWE Evolution card with the rumors of a planned return to Saudi Arabia just days later, it was unsurprisingly met with some resistance in the comments.
Which is why the topic needs to be addressed again. In particular, I wanted to address a few specific points.
1 - “You know the United States does bad things too, right?”
Yes, the United States has plenty of issues. Hey, you can even tie them into current Saudi Arabian issues with U.S. supplied bombs being used to kill school children and other military support provided to the country. That deserves attention and people should always challenge issues within their own borders as well as outside.
But understand, the United States Government is not paying WWE to hold an event as a distraction from these issues. That is what is happening in Saudia Arabia. The event is part of Saudi Vision 2030’s entertainment wing. This is an event bought and paid for by the government. The same government making moves to appear as though they’re improving rights for women while things like this happen (via Amnesty International earlier this month):
Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada were detained earlier this week, Amnesty International has learned. They have both been repeatedly targeted, harassed, and placed under travel bans for their human rights activism.
“This unprecedented level of persecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia is a disturbing sign that the crackdown is far from over,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director.
“These brave women represented the last vestiges of the human rights community in the country, and now they too have been detained. Saudi Arabia’s new leadership under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has crushed any space for the existence of human rights defenders in the country.
Let’s not pretend the fact women can not appear on the card is some quaint bit of tradition, it is a direct reflection of the place women have in Saudi society.
Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon is tweeting in appreciation of Steph Curry’s piece wanting little girls to know they can grow up to be anything.
Pick a lane.
2 - “I don’t want politics in wrestling.”
Again, this event is, by its very nature, political. It exists because of Saudi Vision 2030. You can not talk about the event in an honest way without getting into the politics of it all.
Want to talk about the potential card, well, leave the women off. Why? Politics.
Hey, remember Greatest Royal Rumble when there was that weird segment that resulted in Daivari receiving death threats via playing up Iran vs. Saudia Arabia? Yeah, politics.
Everything is political, absolutely including entertainment and art.
Politics determine the course of entertainment companies and genres, they determine who receives what opportunities — and I don’t mean backstage politics of pushes and the like, but struggles faced by genders, races, sexualities — and they determine who can participate at all.
Music is political. Movies are political.
Wrestling. Is. Political.
If you don’t want to deal with it, don’t.
But no one should ignore issues of genuine human rights issues because it bums you out.
- Hey, guess what, the crowd still isn’t turning on Becky Lynch. Check out our SmackDown Live recap and reactions as well as the show’s video highlights.
- Also, join us for the NXT live results post tonight where we see how long they push the Aleister Black attack storyline.
- Joe vs. Styles ain’t goin’ anywhere.
- Goldberg would consider coming back to WWE to face off with The Undertaker.
- After a very good showing, Raw ratings returned to normal this week.
- WWE is going all out with the Kevin Owens quit thing.
- The flu virus got ALL IN Nick Jackson.
- I’m eye-rolling at the nWo reunion tour.
That’ll do it for today. Here’s a really great dropkick: