As noted, some controversy was stirred up in the last 24 hours, all starting with an episode of Big Swole’s “Swole World” show that aired on Call-In. During the episode, the former AEW star called out All Elite Wrestling for a lack of diversity and revealed it was one of the leading factors in her departure earlier this year.

AEW President, CEO, General Manager & Head Of Creative Tony Khan responded in a tweet, pointed to how other people of color have succeeded in AEW, and then said he let Swole’s contract expire because her wrestling wasn’t good enough.

“The top 2 @AEW execs are brown (me & Megha)!! Jade, Bowens, Caster, Dante, Nyla, Isiah & Marq Quen all won on tv this month. The TBS Title Tournament has been very diverse. I let Swole’s contract expire as I felt her wrestling wasn’t good enough. #AEWRampage Street Fight TONIGHT!,” he wrote.

We noted that one of AEW’s recently signed talents, Lio Rush, is “pissed” about the situation and has demanded for Tony Khan to apologize for his response. But how have other people in and around AEW responded?

Member of Team Taz and a fellow black star featured in AEW, Powerhouse Hobbs, took some time to release a statement through social media. As seen below, Hobbs defends AEW and Tony Khan to a degree, pointing out that they have put minorities in “heavy” spots since the company’s inception.

“I’ve been featured in some heavy ass spots since being signed to AEW as well as other minorities. Now TK has put me in spots at the right time that meant something (Punk, Christian Cage, Brian Cage, and Hangman and especially running in and saving Mox). This company has been there since the passing of my Mother. Cody and QT played tremendous part in getting me signed. Lastly, if you have an issue with someone pick up the phone,” Hobbs wrote.

One of the finalists in the TBS Championship tournament and still undefeated in the ring, Jade Cargill also posted a tweet pointing to her successes since first debuting with AEW.

“‘That B---h’ Jade Cargill’s 2021 Pro Wrestling Recap & Highlights:

-No prior pro wrestling experience. Trusted in the upstart company over a well-known one.

-Once in a lifetime high profile in-ring debut with @Shaq and @CodyRhodes.”

Shawn Dean, a star that is featured in dark matches and serves as the AEW Extras Coordinator backstage put his own two cents into the discussion. Being a part of the production team, Shawn Dean hopes that people will start trusting their process in getting black stars over with the fans.

“Shawn Dean @AEW Extras Coordinator…my official title in #AEW behind the scenes, a black male in the office, giving as many opportunities to minority talents as I can every single week. On the community team…raising awareness for inner-city kids any chance I get…The things we are expecting can and will happen…Trust the process,” Dean wrote.

A star that has been featured in various AEW Dark matches in his own right, Darius Lockhart, had a lot to say on the matter. He also noted how he had provided a whole presentation that he gave to Tony Khan in an attempt to enlighten him better.

“Absolutely not. This is completely disrespectful, not only to Swole, but to the black community that AEW has been consistently not listened to,” Darius wrote. “I wanted to be a part of the change AEW so desperately needs but you’re showing that you’re willingly missing the point. It takes more than meeting a quota. It takes more than predetermined wins that you can count off in a single tweet. Your tactless response to Swole’s valid critiques have now shown us all what you truly think (or don’t think) about us as a community when we voice our concerns. Or what we truly provide as talent for that matter. @TonyKhan Professional Wrestling is committed to ignoring our power.

“This is not the change you promised, this is more of the same @TonyKhan , and it’s been more of the same, and it’ll be more of the same because you are not listening,” Darius Lockhart continued. “The entire industry is not listening. A lot of buzzwords are being thrown around, so I’ll say it bluntly: Your wrestling isn’t diverse if only white and white passing wrestlers are at the top. @TonyKhan You can’t gaslight your way out of a critique that the entire community you’re allegedly serving has. We had a quick meeting at AEW in Greensboro where I gave you a flashdrive that featured an extensive explanation (with numeric breakdowns) on exactly how the black community is being underserved in your company. That breakdown was not only there for personal gain. @TonyKhan.

“I want to be a change but don’t want a check bad enough to ignore what’s going on. This ain’t it. @TonyKhan.”

Ricky Starks took a different course than the others speaking out and completely deleted his Twitter account overnight. There’s no word yet on if it’s in response to this ordeal or if it is unrelated.

Stay tuned for updates.

You can see the full tweets below:

 

 

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