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Booker T On Criticism Of Velveteen Dream’s In-Ring Return, Allegations Against Dream

February 21, 2024 | Posted by Andrew Ravens
Velveteen Dream WWE NXT Image Credit: WWE

On the latest episode of the Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T talked about Patrick Clark, the man formerly known as The Velveteen Dream, returning to the ring, at Dynasty Pro Wrestling in New York this month. He hadn’t wrestled since Dream was released by WWE in 2021 after he was accused of having inappropriate contact with minors in 2020. You can check out some highlights below:

On the Velveteen Dream returning to wrestling: “I know the Velveteen Dream made his return back to Dynasty Pro Wrestling. over the weekend, upstate New York somewhere. And he’s getting mixed reviews as far as — I think the promoter is just getting mixed reviews as well, because — and this is the question here that I’m going to pose to you. They brought Patrick Clark, also known as Velveteen Dream, back as a surprise guest. They didn’t tell any of the fans until he came out of the curtain. Do you agree with that or not? First match back after the controversies and whatnot.”

On the negative reaction to his return: “I mean [the reaction] is definitely on one side. A lot of negative comments are being made. And my thing is this. Okay, I understanding being accused of something like me and then — like me, I was accused. I was guilty. I went to prison, I served my time. And thank God, Bruce Gasarch looked at me and looked at my heart after I’ve worked for him for quite some time and said ‘this guy, he’s not that bad of a guy.’ And he gave me a chance, but I wonder — I just wonder — what would I be if I did the same thing here in this [day] where they can cancel you or they can can say bad things about you because of your past? You know, what would I be at? Probably wouldn’t be where I’m at right now. And one thing about Patrick Clark, he got arrested for some stuff, where I think he had some cocaine. That was one strike. I think he got arrested for a fight at a gym or something like that. Got arrested for a probation violation or something like that. He had three arrests, but he’s never been arrested for a sex crime. He’s not a registered sex offender. And that’s the part right there that I don’t understand.

“I can understand if he was convicted of that, I can understand if he was charged with that. I can understand if he was registered as that. But these days people can make accusations on you, and people take it as fact. There have been no notable crimes on paper with any police department, as far as that goes. And the thing is, I wonder what you have to do to get a second chance in this day and age that we’re living in right now? What do you really have to do to get a second chance? Because these days when the social media world — because it’s not just people coming down on him that was at that show that night? I think it was, it’s probably less people coming down on him from that show as opposed to the people from around the world. I’m talking about overseas, I’ve seen comments from people who have never been to America before, making comments. And that’s what everything is so connected, where people can make you make your life miserable. Where you can never get a job ever again in your life. And you’ve never been charged for that crime that people have convicted you for in the public opinion, you know? It’s really a slippery slope that we’re living in today.”

On the allegations against Dream: “The thing is — I mean, I can find myself in that situation. I found myself in that situation. And you can find yourself in that situation, Brad. And anybody out there in the world now could find themselves in that situation. And there again if I’m convicted of it, persecute me. And let me try to work my way back up. But if I’m not convinced of it, that’s the part that really — did Patrick Clark make some huge mistakes? Of course, he did. Anytime you talk to underage kids online and say anything to them, that’s a problem. It’s a problem because — it’s just like Reality of Wrestling. We take kids 16 and up, and I won’t talk to not one of those kids without the presence of their parents. I’ve never called them on the phone, and I’ve definitely never tweeted or texted them or anything of that nature. Just because, anyway people — no matter how you look at it, it can be misinterpreted. Any way you look at it, there’s no way you can get around it. Because that’s just not something you should be doing. And that right there was a huge mistake on Patrick Clark’s head.

“And the thing is, he’s — of course, 19 years old, 20 years old. You might consider yourself still young, too. You might consider yourself still a kid too. But in the eyes of the public and in the eyes of the law, you’re in trouble. So I really think he put himself in a bad position as far as that goes. But as far as people having their opinions, and they really don’t know or really haven’t read the situation? It blows my mind how people can really take you down to where your life could be miserable for the rest of your life.”

On Dream deserving a second chance: “I just don’t feel like you should be persecuted forever if there is not a real crime. If there was a real – if there was a victim. If it was one of these kids that has accused him of something, and the police came and picked up Patrick Clark and took him to jail, and he was prosecuted for that? I will be all for everything that these people are talking about. But when none of that is proven, and people have already convicted him of it, it’s really — there again a slippery slope that any one of us can find ourselves going down that same slippery slope. Somebody can say, I touched them. And I know I didn’t touch them, but if it gets to public opinion and they take it and believe that person, my life could be ruined.

“And I say that because I say that because I’ve had a wrestling school for almost 20 years now. And I’ve never — and I do this for a reason. I’ve never had a private conversation or a private session with a female in my wrestling school in 20 years. And I do that for a reason. Because I got to protect myself 100%. Just because these days anybody can say anything, and my school can get closed down overnight because of an allegation that has been made that’s untrue. So just say people, really be conscious of thinking about when you post stuff, and you really don’t know the situation. All you’re doing is just backing somebody’s pay or backing the way you feel about a certain cause. And we all should feel that way about the cause. We should not dismiss that one bit. But if someone has not been convicted of it, and there’s just been a lot of allegation thrown around? And the police have investigated it? What do I gotta do to prove myself. There’s no way I can prove myself.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the Hall of Fame with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.