Hulk Hogan transformed wrestling into a global phenomenon but his legacy is threatened by his racist marks. Portions of a candid conversation were leaked by the National Enquirer . On the tape, he refers to his daughters then boyfriend as the N-word.
The man with the signature leg drop was fired from the WWE and removed from their hall of fame last month. “I’ve worked for the WWE for almost 30 years off and on … and then all of a sudden, everything I’ve done my whole career and my whole life was like it never happened,” he said.
But in this exclusive interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach that aired this morning on “Good Morning America” he defends himself. “I was to the point where I wanted to kill myself, you know? I was completely broken and destroyed and said, ‘What’s the easiest way out of this?’ I mean, I was lost.”
Terry Bollea said he inherited a racial bias from where he grew up where the slur was thrown around like it was nothing. “People need to realize that you inherit things from your environment. And where I grew up was south Tampa, Port Tampa, and it was a really rough neighborhood, very low income. And all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word.”
He begs for forgiveness from his fans. “Oh, my gosh. Please forgive me. Please forgive me,” he said. “I think if you look at the whole picture of who Hulk Hogan is, you can see over all the years that there’s not a racist bone in my body.”
Many people came to his defence including The Rock, George Foreman, Dennis Rodman and his own daughter Brooke. Brooke wrote a lengthy poem on Facebook that featured lines like,”He taught me folks are so much more than shades could ever tell,” He teared up when talking about his daughter.
“For me to vent and be so angry at her, she should have been the one — she should have been the one to throw me out like the trash. But instead, she showed me more love than anybody.”
He’s now wrestling with how people perceive him.
“If everybody at their lowest point was judged on one thing they said and let’s just say in high school, you may have said one bad thing and all of a sudden, your whole career was wiped out today because of something you said 10 or 20 years ago, it’d be a sad world. People get better every day. People get better.”
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