In October 2019, WWE released a shirt for ACH (Jordan Myles in WWE) that depicted giant red lips smiling with shiny white teeth. ACH was upset, feeling that the shirt was racist and showed blackface/Sambo imagery.
ACH's gimmick in NXT was that of positivity as he was always smiling before, during, and after his matches.
Speaking on the Submission Squad podcast, ACH detailed being told to smile more and his reaction when he first saw the shirt appear online.
"It hurt my heart when the shirt got released. I was angry. And everything came to a head because it felt like it brought up a lot of shit with ROH. ROH always viewed me as 'just a high-flyer.' When they release this shirt, is that what I am, just a joke? Something that no one takes seriously. I was told to smile because that's a Vince thing. Vince likes that. When I got there, I wasn't smiling at all. I would wrestle, straight-faced, and that was my thing. I was told to smile more. Okay, you want me to smile more, you got it! So, I smiled. And I smiled a lot. I'm one of those people, you tell me to do something, and even if I'm not feeling it, I'll do it because it's my job. I turned my smile up, I turned my personality up. I enjoyed my time, I really did," he said. "When they released the shirt, I got angry. I made a lot of comments, that I'm not going to take back, because that's how I feel. Could I have said them better? Absolutely. I said a lot of things out of anger. If I could have said them more intelligently, calmly, and had it been from a real place and not out of anger, I think it would have been okay. But I felt like a joke. The fact that they did that, it was embarrassing. This is millions of people mocking you."
ACH lashed out on social media, accusing WWE of being racist over the release of the shirt. WWE responded, saying ACH approved the shirt design.
"My main concern, when I would talk to them, is that I was lied to. The shirt, things like that can happen. Mistakes can happen. But, I was lied to. [WWE] said I approved the shirt, when I didn't approve the shirt. The guy told me it was Triple H's vision for me. How am I supposed to feel when I'm working for this guy and he thinks that's what I look like? Then I was told, 'I thought that was the Rollings Stones lips.' What? How do you get that, from that? It looked nothing like the t-shirt logo. I offered another logo. I even offered to work together to come up with something else. He came back to me and was like, 'Triple H didn't like that one. This is his vision for you.' I wanted to talk to [Triple H] in person about it and see where he's coming from. When I talked to him in person, he looks at me and is like, 'I thought you approved of that.' What? No. I went to talked [Shirt Designer Baker Landon] because someone is lying and it aint me, because I didn't approve of the shirt," he said.
ACH didn't provide extra details on his conversation with Baker as it became a thing of "he said, he said."
ACH "quit" WWE on November 13. One week later, he was officially released.
When asked if he had heard from WWE since being released, he replied, "I haven't heard anything. The only thing I hear is when I get my merchandise check. And that's not from the t-shirt, it's from being in Supercard. At this point, I don't think I'm going to hear anything. And it sucks because my mom so desperately wants me to be there. 'That's your dream; you should reach out.' I don't know how to tell her how the business is. I don't know if she knows everything happens on the internet. I honestly don't think they care. If they cared, they would have tried to fix it or help the situation. I don't think they genuinely care."
Elsewhere on the podcast, ACH apologized for how he handled the incident, saying he was coming from a place of anger and wishing he had handled things differently. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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