Former Wrestler Blasts WWE for Lack of Diversity

WrestleMania 33 was nerd-heaven for long-time wrestling fans who were happy to great matches, new champions and the return of the Hardy Boyz, it was also a tearful farewell to the Undertaker as his streak was broken again forcing him to retire.

Regardless, fans were overall pleased with the turnout of the PPV. Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard, better known as Shad from his own tag team, Cryme Tyme was unhappy with the lack of diversity for WrestleMania 33.

Via Twitter, his frustration was focused on (WWE wrestler) Naomi as he claimed she was the only African-American involved in a match. Yet some would argue that Gaspard had it wrong. He did fail to acknowledge that Sasha Banks (who was booked for a fatal-four-way match for the Raw Women’s Championship) is black despite her light complexion.

Also, WWE heavily promotes their Samoan wrestlers as Nia Jax and Roman Reigns, both wrestled for WrestleMania 33.

Meanwhile, the tag-team New Day (Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E) had a role in hosting the event. Granted, they could have been booked to be a part of the Raw Tag Team Champion, but I guess their past accomplishment of being the longest reigning tag team champions probably shelved their chances.

Yet, even as a black wrestling fan, I do notice that most black male athletes were not seriously pushed to win major titles such as WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion or Universal Champion. Through tokenism, there were black male champions at least for spin-offs bands.

Bobby Lashley and Mark Henry were once ECW Heavyweight Champions. Big E. was the first black NXT Champion and in 205 Live, Rich Swann became the 3rd and first black WWE Cruiserweight Champion.

Overall Gaspard does have a point and this topic has not been officially discussed within the company and the fanbase. They do not see why black fans are feeling erased as other wrestlers of color get legitimate chances to be champions and the face of the company.