Monday, July 6, 2020

Protecting Wrestling’s Women Has to Be a Priority

Protecting Wrestling’s Women Has to Be a Priority
As a professional sport, pro wrestling is unique. Among all the other high profile sports in the world, wrestling is the only one that requires men and women to act in unity for the sake of the sport.

In top professional wrestling organizations like the WWE, the stars work together, perform together and many times, live together.

Over the past few years, we have seen issues related to the sexual and physical abuse of women raised among professional football, baseball, and basketball players. We have, as a society, had to delve into the darker side of Hollywood with these very same issues. At a time when sports fans and gamblers should be excited about things like securing an NFL betting guide for the upcoming NFL season (hopefully), we find professional wrestling has its own abuse issues with which to deal.

Recently, allegations of sexual misconduct have been directed at two prominent names from the professional wrestling community, David Starr (Max Barsky) and more recently, Brock Lesnar. To be clear, these are only allegations and, everyone one has a right to defend themselves in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.

Looking for Solutions

It looks like its pro wrestling’s turn on the edge of the one of the biggest issues in American society today. However, we might all benefit from not thinking of issues surrounding sexual and physical abuse as something that only pertains to celebrities and athletes. We should also refrain from viewing this as an issue that only involves the abuse of women.

In reality, we have a societal problem with respecting one another. Horrible atrocities are being perpetrated on men, women, and children every day all over the nation. It has to stop. Cruelty has to give way to respect, empathy, care.

Professional wrestling is already a sport predicated on a form of violence. It is called entertainment in the wrestling community. Given the sport’s high profile, there has to be zero tolerance for any kind of abuse among the stars, administrators, staff and even the fans.

It is never easy to adjudicate a “he says, she says” situation. The best way to avoid having to deal with said situations is to first take preventative measures.

Preventative measures can take a lot of forms. Wrestler contracts should make clear there is zero tolerance for any form of abuse, subject to immediate termination of contracts. All wrestling employees need easy access to resources for filing complaints, and complaints must be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. Finally, the pro wrestling industry should strongly support educating its employees about what constitutes abuse (sexual, physical, mental, verbal) and the legalities surrounding it.

At the end of the day, pro wrestler’s biggest stars have to recognize their position as idols among wrestling fans, especially the tens of millions of kids worldwide that spend billions of dollars in support of the sport. For that type of investment, wrestling fans have a right to believe their heroes are above this fray.