After past online comments made by Lars Sullivan again became a major talking point in the wrestling business - and perhaps most importantly, when that conversation came to the attention of one of the company’s biggest sponsors - WWE has announced there will be consequences for the posts Sullivan made from 2008 - 2013.
Those were described in a statement given to Forbes, and other outlets:
“WWE supports a culture of inclusion regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, and we are committed to embracing all individuals as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.
Dylan Miley (aka Lars Sullivan) will be fined $100,000 and required to complete sensitivity training for offensive commentary uncovered from his past. WWE will also facilitate meetings for Dylan with community organizations to foster further discussion around the power of social media and the impact of your words.”
It’s doubtful this combination of punishment and rehabilitation will be satisfactory to all of those hurt by Sullivan’s comments. It does seem to be a step in the right direction regarding WWE’s handling of these types of matters, as things like sensitivity training and community engagement were what many called for prior to Hulk Hogan’s reinstatement after being fired for past racist statements. At the same time, however, punishing someone for something that happened before he was in a business relationship with WWE presents a strange new gray area for how the company treats its independent contractors.
Sullivan was in the midst of a main roster push when the controversy resurfaced last week. How this affects WWE’s plans for him, and how crowds will react to him, will be worth watching going forward.