During the 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on Tuesday, April 6, Ethel Johnson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the legacy wing.
WWE recognized Johnson as the first female African-American wrestler in history.
They made a big mistake in the video package, using footage of Sandy Parker, who wrestled a decade after Johnson.
WWE was called out for their mistake and deleted the social media clips recognizing Johnson.
Speaking to Chris Bournea, the family of Ethel Johnson spoke out against WWE and their mistake.
Johnson's eldest daughter Shelly Adams began by saying that Johnson was not the first African American female wrestler, but she was the first African American female champion. Babs Wingo, Johnson's sister, was the first African American female wrestler.
"They inducted her as the first African American female wrestler. She needs to be inducted as the first African American female champion. They did not contact anybody. I didn't get any contact until after I reached out and saw what they put up. I contacted WWE. They contacted me back, I told them what the errors were in the video. They said they were going to correct it. They didn't know when the corrections were going to be made. They recently reached out to me and said they made the corrections, but I can't find the original advertisement or video. I don't know what they corrected," said Adams.
Kim Goodwin Martin, Johnson's niece, said they only found out about the wrong information and induction due to it blowing up on social media. She felt embarrassed and disrespected, wanting WWE to pay proper homage to the family.
"How come you didn't invite us to accept the award on behalf of my aunt? You didn't call us because you knew you were doing wrong. They had plenty of time to get the information. They decided to put out what they wanted to put out. What they put out was untrue. It should be on the site with a big apology," she said.
She was adamant that WWE recognize Black history instead of their version of Black history and recognize it when everyone was paying attention, which was WrestleMania weekend.
Johnson's granddaughter Michaiah Goodwin, who was the one who initially called out WWE for the wrong footage said, "They only care when something blows up. If it wasn't for articles, I'm not even sure they would've tried to change it."
When asked what WWE could do to make things right, Adams said, "If they come out, apologize, and recognize the history before, then we can move on."
WWE has not issued any correction on using the wrong footage.
The family asked fans and those in positions of power to help make sure the real story of Ethel Johnson gets told.
You can learn more about the legacy of Ethel Johnson by clicking here.
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