Santino Marella has spoken out about recent comments he made about transgender athletes, saying he was only speaking about amateur wrestling and combat sports, not professional wrestling.
This week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling’s Behind The Lights saw Santino (Anthony Carelli) promoting the Tessa Blanchard vs Joey Ryan intergender match at United We Stand when the subject of transgender athletes came up. Santino said intergender wrestling might be giving women an “inflated sense of confideNce” and said it could lead to a serious injury, one that could be avoided if there was a barrier and social responsibility preventing women from competing against men.
“If you’re born a guy and you become a woman, you’re accepted anywhere. [In a competitive sport] there has to be a barrier … it’s not fair that you compete against women in sports because you were born with different physical biological attributes. We have to be realistic about it and … not be so sensitive.”
Santino has clarified his original remarks, saying he was speaking about amateur sports, not professional wrestling, and offered the following statement to Pro Wrestling Sheet:
“In legitimate combative sports, I don’t want to see women get hurt unnecessarily. Professional wrestling welcomes everybody.
I consider myself an ambassador to professional wrestling and my view has always been that it is welcome to all, I have gay students. I have trans students. I have students from every race and creed, we are all one big happy family.”
Santino also posted the following on Twitter, noting he’d spoken to Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin about the original comments:
I couldn’t figure why people were upset the last couple days, then I realized some people think I said trans women should not perform w cis women in PROwrestling, that’s NOT the case at all, It’s entertainment & it’s all welcoming, @ryansatin has agreed to clarify his statement
— Santino Marella (@milanmiracle) March 16, 2019