Kenny King Gives ROH Credit For Roundtable On Race And Black Lives Matter

In July, ROH held a roundtable featuring Caprice Coleman, Shane Taylor, Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham and Kenny King to discuss police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and race & racism in wrestling. 

Appearing on ROH Strong, King discussed his appearance and why he was proud of ROH for doing more than just putting out a statement. 

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"I give Ring of Honor a lot of credit because it wasn't something they had to do and it was something they wanted to do," he said. "They could have just put out a statement and sat down and said, 'we did our socially accepted norm,' but they didn't. They gave us the option of writing in or doing a podcast. unanimously, we all wanted to be represented by our own words. It was also important that we asked questions. We effectively turned it into, 'Ask the black people,' which is exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to get an anonymous stream of questions because people will have preconceived notions and stereotypes in their heads but may not say it. An anonymous format to say what you want to say was beneficial because the ultimate goal for me was -- we've been talking about the same things in this country and this time, we've made a little more of a turn than previously with America accepting Black Lives Matter as a concept. I felt like those questions gave us an opportunity to give real answers that can resonate with people. It was so important to have the guys there because everybody's experiences are different. A lot of people think racism is one way, but racism is so nuanced that you have to hear how silent it can be to know how loud it is."

King was then asked about Cody's comments about "being colorblind." 

At the AEW Double or Nothing 2019 media scrum, Cody said, "One time I told Brandi, I said ‘I don’t see color’ and she said ‘well you don’t see my experience.’ I thought ‘oh, you’re right, I can’t just say that.’ You need to be able to see that experience and at least understand it."

Regarding Cody's comment, King says he reached out to Cody to thank him. 

"I sent him a message saying, 'thank you for saying that.' The idea of being colorblind is a wonderful idea and rooted in goodness and fairness, but it robs you of actually seeing. Everybody is different. Culturally, we add things that we wouldn't be able to acknowledge if we just say, 'I don't see color.' When people say that, it became a way of people not acknowledging cultural differences. That concept is critical of changing minds. It's okay to be black, white, or anything because everybody has different and valid experiences," he said.

You can watch the full roundtable by clicking here.

Elsewhere during the interview, King discussed his experience on Tough Enough 2. You can view his full comments by clicking here.

If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

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