WWE terminated its contract with Hulk Hogan following a report by RadarOnline and the National Enquirer that there is tape of Hogan going on a racist tirade.
"WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan), the company said in a statement Friday morning. "WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."
On Friday, RadarOnline and the National Enquirer reported that part of an unauthorized sex tape in which Hogan appears contains "a filthy bigoted attack, littered with the N-word and other disgusting racial insults" aimed at his daughter, whom he accuses of sleeping with a black man.
Using language so hate-filled and vile it would shock even his most ardent fans, Hulk brazenly blustered to Heather Clem — the wife of his former pal Bubba “The Love Sponge,” with whom he was covertly filmed having sex with in 2012 — that he was an unabashed “racist.”
“I guess we’re all a little racist,” he crowed on the tape, multiple sources have confirmed exclusively to Radar and The ENQUIRER.
According to commentator Marc Lamont Hill, there is said to be separate audio in which Hogan uses racist language to refer to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Hogan, 62, had continued to make appearances at WWE events despite his age. But Wrestling News Source reported early Friday that Hogan was no longer listed on the WWE's Hall of Fame page, and that all of his merchandise had been removed from WWEShop.com.
Hogan has released the following statement to People Magazine:
Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it.
This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.
The wrestler Tweeted this early Friday:
Hogan is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Gawker Media, which published a clip of his sex tape with Heather Clem in 2012. The case is set to resume in October.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.