Former WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield came to the defense of Chris Jericho on his Facebook page today, who was indefinitely suspended for disrespecting the Brazlian flag at an event in Sao Paulo last night. JBL, who came under fire for goose-stepping around the ring to get heel heat at a WWE live event in Germany in June of 2004, noted that Jericho was simply trying to be a good heel.
"After seeing reports of Chris Jericho in Brazil-it was what I suspected--Chris trying to entertain and be a heel. Apparently a Brazilian Flag comes into ring and Chris grabs it and kicks it (or something to that effect). Compare that to Sgt Slaughter burning the flag [EDITOR'S NOTE: Sgt. Slaughter never actually burned the flag, he was asked to but refused] or all the crazy stuff that has gone on. This is nothing. EXCEPT we are in a new era and now that isn't acceptable.
"Chris did what most old heels would have done, he reacted and a decade ago it would have been loved for the heat. However, times change and we have to as well-Chris acknowledged this and apologized. Chris is a wonderful person and one of all time great entertainers-there was no malice here from what I see and know about Chris. A mistake was made and is being dealt with.
"As far as being illegal, please, if done in an entertaining arena it is considered as such. Like saying you can prosecute Anthony Hopkins for cannibalism because of his role in 'Silence of the Lambs'. I understand the arguments, I went through same thing in Germany and it was never considered a problem in Germany-only over the Internet and the Internet reporters. Chris' intent was to entertain not insult anyone in Brazil or the great Brazilian fans.
"Times change and for the better. Chris did what a ton of older heels would have done and he reacted. He is being punished and he apologized. He is one of all time greats and a great friend, old habits are hard to change but we must.
"Times change and we have to change with it, and we all will."
JBL also detailed his incident in Germany in a separate post, you can check out his Facebook page by clicking here.