UK Promotion Issues Statement On Comments Made By Former WWE Star Scotty 2 Hotty

Sovereign Pro Wrestling has stepped into the middle of a public dispute between wrestlers Scott Garland and Stephanie Sterling over a match Sterling says Garland backed out of due to his opponent's gender identity. For his part, Garland, aka WWE Attitude Era star Scotty 2 Hotty, has disputed Sterling's claims that he backed out of a February match with them because they identify as nonbinary. SVP said in a statement Thursday that during discussions surrounding the match, "nothing was said to us by Scott in our communication which we would interpret as being directly transphobic."

The promotion went on to say that it shared all of its communications surrounding the match "with the relevant parties" and that it bears "no responsibility for the interpretation of that communication by any person and the opinions of the performers are their own. It is not the responsibility of the company to mediate any personal issue between performers online in a public forum, although we do hope an amicable resolution can be reached and the matter can serve as education for all regarding communication and understanding between communities," the promotion added.

Garland shared the statement Thursday and asked people on social media to "please stop the hate in the comments." Sterling responded shortly after, adding, "the primary reason communicated to me for Scotty backing out was a tweet in which I talked about my gender and being an intergender wrestler and Scotty not appreciating said tweet. He followed this with other reasons, such as not doing 'funny stuff' in wrestling," Sterling continued in a thread. "In any case, agreeing to a match & *then* looking at who you agreed to work with before pulling out is poor form. He has the right but it screwed people over."