Maybe we all should’ve expected this would happen. After all, half of the Hulkamania brand was unnecessarily jingoism. That said, a recently-unveiled transcript of a racist rant is quickly derailing the legacy of one of professional wrestling’s bona fide legends.
In an exclusive statement to People, Terry Bollea (a.k.a Hulk Hogan, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, etc.) apologized for having used what he deemed "offensive language":
"Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs."
Hogan’s statement comes in the wake of a racist rant’s quotes being unearthed by gossip publications The National Enquirer and RadarOnline.com‘s joint investigation. In the rant, Hogan openly describes himself as a racist when he says "I guess we’re all a little racist."
The most gut-wrenching, racist and sexist parts of the rant happen when Hogan berates his daughter Brooke for allegedly having sex with black men to further her music career, as the Enquirer and RadarOnline.com pieces describe:
The bitter bodybuilder continued, "The one option Brooke had, Brooke’s career besides me, is [to] sell beach records."
At that point on the tape, the former "Hogan Knows Best” star bemoaned how a "black billionaire guy" had offered to fund her music career.
He also attempts to use bizarre, twisted logic in an attempt to justify his bigotry at the man.
"I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son," Hulk raved, the sources add.
"I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever."
Then, in a tirade to rival the racism embarrassments suffered by Mel Gibson and "Dog The Bounty Hunter," Hulk unloaded even more hatred!
According to sources, he said: "I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
"I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger."
Hogan was speaking to Heather Clem, the then-wife of his friend and controversial radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, with whom he had a sexual relationship; Hogan and his legal team are involved a Florida lawsuit against Gawker Media over a sex tape with Hogan and Heather Clem, which Bubba Clem secretly filmed in 2008 and Gawker reported on in 2012. The tirade’s contents, dating back to the time of the taping, were kept under legal seal in a Florida court. The National Enquirer and RadarOnline.com confirmed specific quotes with five independent sources.
The scandal lead to what Hogan’s attorney described as his resignation from World Wrestling Entertainment "because he didn’t want to put them or his family through this,” but the WWE’s statement on their severing-of-ties stresses that Hogan was fired:
"WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."
According to Wrestling News Source, Hogan’s name has been removed from WWE.com’s Hall of Fame page, as has all of his merchandise on WWEShop.com. He is also no longer listed as a judge on WWE’s "Tough Enough" television show.
This recent scandal is perhaps the final nail in the coffin of a career that was defined by Hogan’s hypocritical public image of Christian moralism and American patriotism.