Kofi Kingston clarifies "people like us" statement.
Kofi Kingston thought he qualified for his WrestleMania match against Daniel Bryan on the Mar. 19 episode of SmackDown. He defeated The Bar, Samoa Joe, Rowan, and Randy Orton in a gauntlet match, but Vince McMahon threw one more obstacle in his way. Daniel Bryan was announced as the last entrant and the WWE Champion dispatched a tired Kingston, keeping Kofi out of WrestleMania.
The next day, Big E took to social media and said, "People like us will only get so far."
Most interpreted his comment to mean African-American wrestlers, but Kofi clarified that it meant more than a single race.
"We left it open-ended for a reason, and it means a lot of different things. For example, myself, I wear pigtails in the ring. I wear pink. I skip. I clap. I twerk. You don't see someone like that in the main event scene. There's obviously the element of race concerned in it, right? You haven't seen many African-American champions hold major titles. So, that is definitely a big piece of it," Kofi told Busted Open Radio. "What's so awesome about this storyline is that so many people can identify with it. Whether it be people who are -- like a black child, who are looking at the screen and see black men doing excellent things. Now they believe they can do excellent things. That's a huge part of what we do and it's a huge element of pride that we take in being able to be that beacon of hope. But also, from the perspective that it transcends race, is the fact that this is a legitimate 11-year journey. It's an 11-year grind. 'People like us;' people who work as hard as they possibly can, who are told 'no.'"
Kofi continued, "Even before I became a WWE superstar, I was told I was never gonna make it because I wasn't big or strong enough. People who are always climbing mountains only to find more mountains. 'People like us' is everybody who has struggled. Who has had a difficult time getting to where they want to be. Now, they can look at us and be like, 'Hey, I can do this because they did it.'"
Kingston would qualify for WrestleMania the following week thanks to Xavier Woods & Big E running a gauntlet of their own. This Sunday, Kofi Kingston will try to make history as he challenges Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title.
Fightful will have live coverage of WrestleMania 35 beginning at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.