As seen in the video above, CHIKARA founder and pro wrestling veteran Mike Quackenbush has released a detailed statement addressing each of the accusations made against him as a part of the "#SpeakingOut" movement.
As noted, several accusations against Quackenbush were released via Twitter claiming systematic abuse towards CHIKARA staffers and trainees. Quackenbush responded by quickly resigning from his role as head trainer at the Wrestle Factory and discontinuing CHIKARA.
In his new statement, released via YouTube, Mike takes his time sorting through each accusation and giving his explanation as to what happened. At times he does not recall the instance in question or denies guilt, however, he also admits to some accusations and takes responsibility for them. One subject he sheds some light on is his personal relationships with CHIKARA performers.
"At two points in my life I have been involved in a relationship with an active CHIKARA performer," Quackenbush said. "Both were consenting adults, and both are free to disclose whatever they want about that. But their privacy is not mine to revoke. To be clear though, I have never been involved in that type of relationship with a trainee."
Mike goes on to apologize for using inappropriate terms when describing autistic or gay people, mentioning that he understands he needs to take responsibility for his past self.
"I firstly and most prominently want to apologize to my friend Steven [Weiner]. Steven, I am sorry. You deserve better and this should have never been said. There are several people in my life, including my friend Steven, who have autism," Quackenbush explained. "And I have had to learn how hurtful the 'r' word is to them. Simply put, if this was said by someone at one of my shows or at one of my schools, then I respect full responsibility.
"This part I must own: I am certain that I made homophobic remarks during [2011-2012]. And although I do not recall at other time making inappropriate or offensive remarks during that time, I must be open to the fact that since I don't recall those things, I should own them. "I accept responsibility. I am responsible for those things and I believe the allegations as they are reported because I know I said ignorant things in my past, and I have to own that."
Mike believes that this is a time where our culture needs to listen to those people that are hurting so they can heal. He finishes with a final apology to all those people he has afflicted.
"I have read and re-read all of these, including all of your comments, especially from those of you that have lacked the full context for understanding. And I want you to know, if I have failed you, if I have hurt you, if I have offended you, I am sorry," Quackenbush said. "And to those of you I have disappointed, I'm sorry to you too. You are owed that apology. But please take this away, please I am urging you to remember this: we have to continue to listen with passion and empathy to the people that are speaking out. And we've got to engage in real, serious self-reflection.
"Look at the things that we've all said and done and then we've got to change to be better. And if you're hearing that from me and you're wondering, 'Mike, how could you realistically say that given what you've gone through in the last 72 hours?' And what we all need to understand is this: the people that are hurting the most right now, they're the ones that must be heard the most. Because if they are never heard, they are never going to start healing. And we all have a role to play in that."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Til We Make It and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.