Big E On Black Lives Matter, Moving Beyond Offensive Stereotypes

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Big E recently sat down with The Sports Bubble to talk about the incredible social movements of the last month and how he’s tried to bring some of that energy to a WWE ring. In particular, E and his New Day compatriots took a knee before a match on a recent SmackDown, and they got no pushback on that from anyone.

We ran it by Vince McMahon, our boss, and he approved it. We got no pushback there. We got a lot of support from the company with the podcast and we can’t typically put out video, not the whole video because of the way the contract is with our podcast, but they were so supportive with us putting up the whole conversation because we felt like it was important for people to listen to this hour plus, and to see it and to see our faces and see our expressions.

Big E also called out people like Randy Orton for supporting the cause, something that he wouldn’t have always done in the past.

I consider Randy a friend, and we’ve had some conversations at work. I think over the course of the last few years, even. And I think he’s finally starting to get it, you know? And like you said, that is I think as impactful as it can be to see a black athlete or black entertainers speak up about these things. I think it can be really impactful as well to see someone like Randy, who’s had these conservative views who in the past would never speak up to say anything like this to really, you know, I thought he did a really good job with what he posted and to offer that kind of support.

Of course, just because the national focus is on the issue now, that doesn’t mean it’s not a longstanding problem. Big E talked about how The New Day is trying to represent African Americans in wrestling without resorting to worn-out stereotypes

With black wrestlers, until maybe recently, and it’s something we’re still fighting for it, you know, you had these very few tropes to pick from – you can be an angry, randomly angry guy, or you can be like a rapper slash dancer, or like we got saddled with these preacher gimmicks. You just had these like, okay, he’s a black wrestler or she’s a black wrestler, and you have three or four of these archetypes to choose from. We want to break that mold and continue breaking that mold and showing that the black experience is not this homogenous single experience.

You can listen to the full clip from The Sports Bubble podcast embedded below:

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Thanks to The Sports Bubble for the above transcriptions!