In a recent edition of the CBS Sports podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell, Bret Hart offered strong words on the treatment of professional wrestlers:
“I’ve always been an advocate for some kind of union. I still am. The employees in [WWE], who work for [WWE], they have better benefits than the wrestlers do, and the ones that they should take care of are the wrestlers. And they still don’t take care of the wrestlers the way they should. And I think that’s a real shame.”
Bret amplified his remarks by comparing pro wrestlers to other groups of performers in sports organizations, groups who are all unionized, or better taken care of. He mentioned circus performers, bull riders, and even future XFL players. Bret said:
“They’re gonna put billions of dollars into [an] XFL, another one, and we all know that’s being paid for by wrestlers, by the wrestling industry. But none of that’s going to filter down to any of the wrestlers. It’s gonna filter down to a bunch of football players with big padded football contracts, and they’re going to have special doctors, and all the things that wrestlers have never got. They will be treated like the finest cattle. The treatment they will get will be heads and tails above what the wrestlers will get. The wrestlers get chicken feed on the bottom. If they get injured, they get sent off. It’s a very cut-and-dry world for pro wrestlers.”
Bret’s biting commentary on the labor rights of pro wrestlers could very well renew a debate about whether or not WWE superstars are actually independent contractors or if they should be considered employees, and therefore deserving of benefits.
Although he maintains to be on good terms with Vince McMahon to this day, it is clear that Bret will never see eye-to-eye with him on certain topics.
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