Big E Addresses Whether He Has Ever Encountered Racism In WWE

Big E spoke with Breakfast Club Power 101.5 FM where he went into detail about representation within the wrestling world. The WWE Champion was asked if he gets flack for any things or statements his boss Vince McMahon done or said done in the past, like the time he dropped the "n" word on WWE TV or his ties to former US President Donald Trump. Big E insisted her doesn't get flack from anyone for it and he is trying to make a difference from within.

"I don't get flack for it. I guess I see myself as, I don't want to say light in an area of darkness, but sometimes you have to work from within. We all work for these massive systems and there are certain beliefs and views that I don't necessarily agree with or feel. But I feel like my presence in WWE, I still feel like I can reach people, I can motivate people, that I can still show like, 'hey, this is how I feel, this is how I see the world.' So, within the system, it's a massive platform and I don't want to lose that."

While The New Day star hasn't spoken to the WWE Chairman directly about his personal views, he did reveal that he has been happy for Big E to do certain things that he personally believes in over the past year.

"So I haven't necessarily asked Vince about his political views or donations, but there are things that I wanted to do, smaller gestures, but things that matter to me. After George Floyd, Kofi and I decided we needed to show people, 'hey, we are with you and we are feeling the same pain you are, we are crying the same tears.' So, I went up to Vince and said, 'hey, we want to kneel and throw a fist up, is that cool? I just want to run it by you.' He said, 'yeah,' it was no problem whatsoever and that's what we did. I'm not saying we changed the world by any means, but a lot of things that I felt that were important to me, this past year especially, and I feel like George Floyd's death touched me in a way. I think it had a lot to do with, I wasn't jumping on a plane with all these distractions, I had to sit with this, we all had to sit with this. There are things that I want to accomplish and that I want to do. Especially when you see these black kids at shows, we are here to entertain kids from all backgrounds and ethnicities, but there's just something too, you can look out and see a young black girl or boy and they remind you of yourself, or my sisters when I was young and that means a lot to me. To let them know that just because we are on TV and have money or fame or whatever it is, that doesn't make us above feeling the way that you feel. I'm hurting like you hurt."

Big E then spoke about The New Day and how it was important to all three men for them to be themselves in order to prove to people that you can be unique while being proud.

"It has been important for us, the three of us are nerds, we are comic book nerds so we wanted to really just be ourselves. I think too often, in our industry you would see talent of color put in certain boxes like you have to be a rapper or dancers. We came out with bright colors, just doing silly stuff and the response, at first was rocky, but we just wanted to show people you can be yourselves, you can be unique, and still be proudly black."

The WWE Champion was also asked if he has dealt with any racism within WWE, and he discussed how representation is beginning to change in the company, noting that black wrestlers are starting to feel more authentic on television.

"In WWE, no, honest I haven't. I will say, as far as our representation on TV we are getting to where we need to be. It's always a work in progress. Often times if there are issues it would present themselves as, people see you a certain way and they want you to, as a character go, 'oh you're a big black man,' so this is the role you need to play. Our goal with The New Day was to start tearing down those boxes so people don't see performers. When they see a black woman, they think she needs to be doing certain things. I look at somebody like Bianca, she's so dope to me because not only is she an incredible athlete, but she's so authentic. What you see on-screen is who she is off-screen and I think we are getting more of those black characters on TV that are authentic and feel like one of one's."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Breakfast Club Power 101.5 FM with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.