Wrestling Fans: Let’s Talk about Sexual Assault

Y’all know I’m a wrestling fan. I’ve been a fan since I could jump off my couch and deliver a Macho Man Randy Savage elbow to my Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy. Since the days of coming home from the mall and immediately turning on WCW Saturday Night to watch Sting. Or, getting my healthy dose of Captain Planet in right before WCW Worldwide on Sundays.

Wrestling has, and always will be, a love of mine.

I’ve always wanted to attend live shows. In college I was able to do so. I turned into a kid all over again! Seeing my childhood heroes 50 feet from me was awesome. Ric Flair even interacted with me (That’s another story for another day).

I could go on and on about my fandom, but that’s not what this piece is about. This one is about the oh so controversial topic of sexual assault.

In wrestling though? Absolutely.

This past Sunday RAW Women’s Champ Becky Lynch (my fave!!) wrestled Sasha Banks (my other fave!!) for the title. It was a great match! The ladies went into the crowd and had an all out brawl. Wrestling is a very “blink and you’ll miss it” type of show. In this case, I missed what was in front of my face. See below.

Did you see that? Ole boy tried to pat Sasha’s backside.

A rule of thumb in the wrestling world is don’t touch the talent. Especially while they are working. Just because they are in the crowd does not mean they are to be grabbed, patted, or anything of the sort. Of course, this rule has been broken multiple times. Also, there caveats to this. If a wrestler is coming down the ramp, then stick out your hand and see if they’ll give you a five. That kind of fan interaction is encouraged.

Reaching to grab backsides is not part of that fan interaction.

Unfortunately, there is an alarmingly large group of males who think this type of behavior is okay. On top of that, it’s well documented that Sasha values her space which has caused a large section of fans to turn on her. Thus, they felt no remorse for here in this instance. The bevy of excuses I read yesterday wasn’t even amusing. It was just sad. Wanna know what they are?

  1. “You know you would have tried to grab it, too.”
  2. “If he didn’t touch her, then it’s not assault. Any good attorney will tell you that. I’m a lawyer.”
  3. “What about when that woman grabbed Roman’s butt?”
  4. “What about that kid who slapped Alexa Bliss’s butt?”
  5. “This shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
  6. “If we are crucifying this guy, then we should crucify every other wrestler who gets patted on the shoulder. Those touches were consented either.”
  7. “Do you know how many fans are drunk at these events?”
  8. “It happened. Move on.”
  9. “Maybe if she wasn’t wearing what she was wearing…”
  10. “Why is objectifying women okay any other day, but now this isn’t okay?”

These are real responses.

I’m shocked at the amount of ignorance. I’m appalled at the level of callousness. I’m baffled at the whataboutery. I’m grieved at the idea that these men will excuse attempted sexual assault. And we wonder why the #MeToo movement is alive and well. Too many men think this type of behavior is okay. Too many men think they’ll get away with it. Think about that.

I engaged in meaningful discussion clowned some idiots who were defending this guy’s actions. Regardless of if the guy connected or not, this is wrong and that should not have to be explained!! Yet, here we are. We’ve been taught to keep our hands to ourselves at a young age. This lesson is still applicable as adults. It only behooves us to adhere to it.

Wrestling fans are already mocked and ridiculed simply for watching wrestling. Let’s not add sexual assault enthusiasts to that criticism.

 

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