In one of the few interviews he has done since being reinstated by WWE, Hulk Hogan said that those who did not accept his return to the good graces of the company and reinstatement to the WWE Hall of Fame were not living up to the brotherhood that professional wrestlers share.
Appearing on the debut episode of the Apter Chat, the new podcast from longtime wrestling reporter/photographer Bill Apter, Hogan talked extensively about being blackballed by WWE in 2015 after audio leaked of racist comments he made on a sex tape. WWE management ultimately welcomed Hogan back to the company, and he addressed the entire main roster prior to the Extreme Rules pay-per-view in July where he issued a backstage apology for his racial comments.
Hogan tweeted about the meeting after the fact:
"A lot of people accepted my apology," Hogan said on the podcast. "And a lot of people heard what they wanted to hear and a lot of the narrative that came out of the meeting was on point. A lot of the narrative was really different. I was surprised to hear some people interpreted what I said that I was just sorry I got caught. I'm on camera, whatever they interpreted, but I never said that."
After Hogan met with current WWE talent, several African-American members of the roster made public remarks still questioning Hogan's comments and motivations. Titus O'Neil said Hogan lacked true remorse while the New Day -- Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods -- issued a collective statement on Kofi's Twitter account that they were "indifferent" to Hogan's reinstatement and found it difficult to forget.
"I just hope the brotherhood can get back to the way it was," Hogan added, drawing a parallel to how wrestlers protect one another from injury during a match. "Outside the ring, you're supposed to protect your brother. In this case, it's a situation where 75, 80, 90 percent of the wrestlers are protecting me and they're giving me another chance to move forward. There's just a few wrestlers that don't understand the bond and the brotherhood of wrestling. If someone makes a mistake, you need to forgive them and move on and try to let them prove themselves.”
Hogan added that, at the meeting at Extreme Rules, he asked if anyone had any questions for him. The only person to stand and ask a question was Mark Henry.
"I just wanted to be able to, if anybody had any questions or anybody had anything to say at that time, I really just wanted them to say it to my face so I could address it," Hogan said. "Hopefully understand the issue and get them to understand me."
If you use any quotes from this interview, please credit FightfulWrestling.com with the transcription.
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