JBL Talks Talent Being Uncomfortable With Crown Jewel, WWE Being ‘Easy Fodder’ & Putting A Pause On The Event

JBL appeared on Busted Open Radio on Wednesday to talk further about the Crown Jewel controversy, if WWE is currently handcuffed and the proper way to be a heel.

In the interview with Busted Open’s Bully Ray & Dave LaGreca, JBL makes a point to say he doesn’t want to diminish what happened in Saudi Arabia with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but compares the human rights violations that have taken place in with poisoning in Russia, Tibetans in China, and even in the United States with the disproportionate mass incarceration of minorities, yet we still have The World Cup and The Olympics in those areas.

Below are quotes from the interview as well as the entire video of the interview (transcription credit should go to Dominic DeAngelo of WrestleZone):

JBL on if he feels wrestlers have the right to tell Vince McMahon that they don’t feel comfortable about going:

“Yes, absolutely, you have a right not to go and I feel very confident that WWE will not insist that anybody go.”

“There were people that didn’t necessarily agree with the 9/13 show, two days after 9/11 in Houston and Vince made it very clear ‘If you don’t want to be here, not an issue. There’s no repercussions, there not gonna be any fallback for this, that is simply your choice’ and I think that will be the same for Saudi Arabia.”

On if he thinks WWE is being treated fairly in

“You can’t change certain things by simply not going. WWE, from what I understand, has a contract with Saudi Arabia. WWE, to me, if you want to promote change, you let these guys go. Look what happened in Abu Dhabi when they’re chanting “this is change.” You want to get something changed, you send sport. Look at what happened when Pee Wee Reese puts his arm around Jackie Robinson. That did more for race relations in the United States – through sport. Now I don’t think that WWE is going there to change the world, I think they’re going there to fulfill a contract. I think changing the world is something they tried to do with the presence we had in Iraq of uplifting our soldiers and the armed forces, but to me, as seeing it from a macro picture, I think it’s the right thing to do. And I think it is unfair, to get back to your question, the way WWE is treated because no one else is treated like this. You didn’t do this with The World Cup, you didn’t do it with The Olympics, but all of a sudden you’re going after WWE.”

On why he thinks people target WWE:

“I think it’s easier fodder. I think it’s hard going after The World Cup, it’s hard to go after The Olympics.”

On if he thinks Vince McMahon ever considered the option of pulling out of Saudi Arabia:

“Oh, absolutely. I think he considers all options. Vince likes people that dissent from his point of view and Vince likes hearing that. He doesn’t like ‘yes men’ around him and so I think Vince certainly looked at this option. I don’t what he’s going to decide. I don’t know if he’s going to decide to go or if he’s not going to decide to go. My belief is that they probably go, but that’s just my opinion, and my belief is that they should go, but yes, I think that he’s considered that.”

On putting a “pause” on Crown Jewel:

“I think everything is an option, I’m not sure if that’s a good option. I don’t think this is gonna cool off. I think we have a real problem right now in the world and this has nothing to do with WWE with Saudi Arabia and because of what happened with this disappearance MBS and Saudi Arabia is our only ally in the Middle East.”

“We lose Saudi Arabia, we lose the Middle East. If we lose Saudi Arabia because of sanctions or by avoiding them, they’re going to China, they’re going to Russia.”

“There’s an arms and an infrastructure race going on in the world right now and we really risk losing that to the rest of the world so there’s a greater good here. There’s $110 billion that President Trump signed as soon as he got into office with arms sale, that’s 500,000 jobs in America. So do you take away, and this is a greater good argument, and I’m not sure of the answer, but I know the question: do you take away 500,000 jobs? Do you allow China to establish dominance in the Middle East and Iran because of this reporter who was killed and it hurts America long term? And that’s the greater good argument. I don’t know the answer to that, I have my opinions.”

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