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D-Von Dudley Discusses the Effects of Racism In Wrestling

September 8, 2023 | Posted by Jack Gregory
D-Von Dudley WWE SmackDown Image Credit: WWE

In a recent interview with Good Karma Wrestling, D-Von Dudley shared his background of having to deal with active racism within the wrestling industry (via Wrestling Inc). Dudley explained that racism is still an active force in wrestling and offered some anecdotes of how the bigotry is expressed and how he would prepare to face it. You can find a few highlights and warch the complete interview below.

On the background of racism in the wrestling industry: “It’s grown a lot, believe it or not. I remember when I first broke into the business in ’91, you have to understand that racism was still alive and well, just as I feel like racism is still alive and well today. I like to say what Malcom X used to say, ‘A lot of the Klansman turned in their white sheet for a suit.’ Walking around and doing what they’re doing. It’s still relevant in the wrestling business, it is, but we have come a long way since then. It’s going to be hard to stop us from doing what we love to do. We watched this sport, we loved it, we want to be a part of it and we’re coming in there and we’re doing exactly not what we want to do in a disrespectful way but doing what we want to do to pay homage to those that have come before us that we have watched and idolized for so long. I’m just very proud.”

On his proactivity to deal with the effects in his own career: “Whenever I disagreed with something within the business, I always had a plan B just in case I didn’t like plan A. I couldn’t just go to them and say ‘Listen, I don’t want to do that, I’m not going to do that.’ I always said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable but here’s what I think we can do.’ Sometimes it worked and sometimes we didn’t. I went in there with a smile on my face and did it even if they told me that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do and that was fine.”

On direct interactions with racist higher-ups at WWE: “I remember coming into certain locker rooms and there were certain people that didn’t care if it got out how they were treating you. There was a prominent figure in WWE, I should say that he was office, that basically told me that he didn’t like me because I was black. Two occasions he told me. Bubba was there on one of them and Bubba was there on the second one along with Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, and Spike. To this day, I have no respect nor do I like this individual. I’m not going to go and put him on blast right now but I don’t care for him, so I just stay away from him. I just know that we have come a long way. I’m not going to sit here and cry over something that might have happened 10 years ago. I just move on and make the best of it. Look at my career, I have nothing to be sad about. I have nothing to have any remorse about it. Bubba and I have become the greatest tag team of our era.”

article topics :

D-Von Dudley, WWE, Jack Gregory