Tessa Blanchard addresses the controversy surrounding her last month.
During a media conference call, Blanchard was asked by Fightful about the allegations made by several wrestlers of her bullying using racist language. On January 11, Allysin Kay alleged Tessa spat on a female wrestler and called her the N-word during a past altercation. It was later revealed/confirmed that the wrestler was La Rosa Negra and the incident took place in 2017. Blanchard has since then denied the allegations.
The allegations came on the same week Blanchard ended up winning the IMPACT World Championship in the main event of the "Hard To Kill" pay-per-view. Blanchard said that whole weekend was emotional for her, but she further denied ever using such language. Blanchard, who admits that she has made mistakes, also spoke about the way people go to social media and "hops onto the bandwagon" in regards to accusations.
“It was a very emotional weekend, full of highs and lows. I chose to step away from social media for a bit because of all the things that were going on. With everything that went on over the weekend, not everyone’s going to like me. Not everyone is going to agree with what I choose to do in my life. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve faced challenges. One thing I will say though, I’ve never used a racial slur of any kind in my life. It’s not something that I’ve done, it’s not something that I will do. It’s just not true. Some people, they look at social media, someone will make an accusation and will say something, then everyone hops onto the bandwagon. We’ve all got our own stories. There’s a side of everyone’s life that is public and there’s a side that is private. There’s a part for all the world to see and can be judged by anyone that’s interested in it. It’s very unfortunate that some people resort to saying certain things, but it’s just not true and that’s as much I’ll say on it. I know who I am. That’s the world we live in. I’ve faced challenges and obstacles that allowed me to persevere, to become the woman and athlete that I am today. This is just another stone in that step,” Blanchard told Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp.
With the controversy surrounding what was arguably the biggest match of her wrestling career, Blanchard knew she had to step away from social media in order to focus on the match, a match she had been preparing for several months.
Blanchard ultimately beat Sami Callihan at the "Hard To Kill" pay-per-view to become the first woman to hold the IMPACT World Championship. Blanchard said she wanted younger talent and little girls to look at her accomplishment as an inspiration to strive to be the best at what they love to do. Blanchard added that she is looking to build her legacy based on her work ethic, not on her popularity.
“That weekend, I’m going to remember for a while. It’s a match that I prepared for physically and mentally for months and months and months. It had been built up for eight or nine months, so there were already a lot of emotions. The day before, I was hit pretty hard. I chose to step away from social media and kind of live in the real world. To see your co-workers and to see your peers say things about you, some things that are not true about you, it did hit me pretty hard. I’m the kind of person that has extreme mental strength. With my family, with my little sister being there that weekend to watch everything culminate at that event, it was special for me. I knew that everything I’ve been through, I needed to use it as fuel to perform to the best of my abilities and be the best version of Tessa Blanchard that I can be for that night and win the world championship. That was my little sister, who is 12, other little girls, any younger talent can take something that I love and I made myself great at it and they can take what they love and they can become great at it too. That’s what motivated me. I can handle almost anything. Not everyone is going to like you. I am going to build my legacy based on my work ethic, not by trying to win some popularity contest,” Blanchard said.
You can check out Blanchard’s comments in the video at the top of the page.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Fightful for the transcription.