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Kenny King on Jay Lethal’s World Title Accolades, on Discussing Racial Issues for the ROH Roundtables

August 4, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Kenny King ROH State of the Art

The Wrestling Inc. Daily recently interviewed ROH wrestler Kenny King. Below are some highlights.

Kenny King on how Jay Lethal was “Kofi Kingston before Kofi Kingston”: “Jay Lethal was ROH World Champion in 2011 or 2012 and he was a double champ. He held both singles championships. So, what I mean by that is when people justly give Kofi his due for being the first black champion in WWE history and that’s a huge thing in itself, but Jay Lethal was doing it in ROH. I wouldn’t say it was to a little fanfare but it was less fanfare as what Kofi Kingston got. ROH never had an issue with that – Xavier [John Jirus] was the first ROH world champion. I think Xavier is Puerto Rican; he’s someone of color. It’s not a situation where you have to go back years in the history books to find anything like that. It’s always kinda been the culture.”

King on addressing racial issues in America for ROH Roundtables: “One of the most important things I felt we did is we asked questions. We had people ask questions that you would maybe be too afraid to ask in person. Send it into whoever was moderating this and we wanted to hear them all because these are questions that everyday people have that shape the way they think or look at things. A lot of this is based off not real information or something they heard, so that was the No. 1 thing. I wanted to get people’s ‘Ask a black dude questions.’ Let’s get it out on the table. Let’s talk about black on black crime and the Confederate Flag because when we get those things on the table and iron them out, then we can move forward. Then we stop with pre-conceived notions and stop with, ‘Well, I heard this or I always thought this.’ Okay, well this is what I’m saying so now you can hear it from me and now we can move forward in that direction.”

King on if America is having a genuine conversation about racial issues now: “I honestly believe it’s more genuine now than it was a few years ago. 2015-2016 when the phrase Black Lives Matter came out it was, ‘Oh’ and there was a visceral reaction. People took it as an argument and an affront to their own self. This time around you’re seeing a whole lot more people that don’t take offense to that. They see it for what the slogan, phrase and movement actually mean. Everywhere from Disney to Apex Legends to FIFA, you turn on any sort of media and you see the words Black Lives Matter and four years ago that wasn’t the case. I feel that even though there is loads of white noise and opposition, I feel like the percentages have swayed and a lot of people have stopped being so offended and have taken the time to listen. They’re like, ‘Oh, okay well I can get down with that.’ That’s why we’re seeing it being a little more well-received this time around.”

article topics :

Jay Lethal, Kenny King, ROH, Jeffrey Harris