WrestleCon has now issued a response to the alleged abuse Rick Steiner targeted at IMPACT’s Gisele Shaw last night.
Shaw alleged that Steiner had made transphobic comments towards her at an autograph signing, as well as a homophobic remark to someone else on the IMPACT roster.
WrestleCon, the host of the signing event, has now tweeted:
WrestleCon regrets the events that took place at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw.
We aim to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community.
The issue has been addressed and we hope the remainder of the convention can be a positive experience for all.
In a further update, PWInsider reports that it has been told by WrestleCon promoter Michael Bochicchio:
PWInsider.com was told that since Rick Steiner had left the event to attend last night’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Wrestlecon did not have the ability to speak with Steiner until this morning.
We are told that Steiner was informed he was not allowed to enter or take part in the remainder of Wrestlecon’s events.
Steiner was not booked by the convention itself but was brought in by a third-party vendor who had purchased table space at the event.
Wrestlecon is attempting to facilitate the two parties speaking about the incident, but thus far, that has not happened.
Shaw’s statement last night was as follows:
I have been bullied all my life and have never stood up for myself because I’m scared that I would get beat up physically, mentally, or emotionally. The bullies in my life have always silenced me, but that ends today!
I was at an autograph signing event today at Wrestlecon and while I was walking to my table, I hear someone yelling “you’re a man,” “you’re a dude,” “you’re a piece of trash,” “You are filth,” “get the f**k away from here.”
I kept my head down and kept walking as I did not want to acknowledge that hate. When I arrived at my table, I spoke to another IMPACT Wrestling talent who was at the signing with me and mentioned the incident. It didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to know who was saying that because it’s unacceptable, so I decided to take a walk in that area and I hear that same person saying the same derogatory comments.
I looked at the person and it was Rick Steiner saying those statements. I was shocked and could not believe that this was even happening. To have someone saying those comments who a lot of people look up to and consider their hero was quite shocking and disheartening.
I was in disbelief so I asked him, “excuse me?!” He kept repeating those hateful phrases and started yelling at me in a public setting. It was inexcusable and unacceptable!
Another disappointing part about this whole incident was that there were other wrestling legends who just sat there, turned their heads away, did not want to get involved, or stand up for what’s right because it involved “one of the boys.”
Judging from that experience, it was more important for them to watch something wrong go down as supposed to standing up for someone who’s being bullied and doing what’s right.
I am not writing this because I want sympathy. I am writing this because I am done being bullied to silence. Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility and I am standing up for myself and for other people who go through the exact same situation on a daily basis.
I want everyone to know what kind of a deplorable person Rick Steiner is and that this cannot be tolerated. This keeps happening because people let it slide and do not take any action. If you do business with these type of people then I will not to do business with you.
I want to thank all my IMPACT peers who were present during the incident and tried to diffuse the situation.
Unfortunately a member of that same peer group was also verbally accosted by Rick Steiner being called a “f*ggot” earlier in the day. I am very fortunate to be working alongside such incredible people in a company that has no room for hate, bullying or judgment. We’re not just co-workers, but a family.
The behavior allegedly perpetrated by Rick Steiner towards Gisele Shaw is inexcusable and should have no place in the world of pro-wrestling, nor should it have any place in life in general.
The same can be said for anyone who turned a blind eye to Steiner’s behavior.
Resources for LGBTQ+ people and allies can be found via Lifeline at this link.
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