WWE Commentator Tweets Then Deletes Anti-Gay Slur

It was just over a week ago that the WWE issued this statement to the LGBT community: "We are taking steps and working with GLAAD to ensure that our fans know that WWE is against bullying or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." Their fresh partnership with GLAAD came out of wrestler John Cena's laundry list of homophobic language.

But it seems like the association between the two organizations isn't going as planned. Earlier today, WWE commentator, Michael Cole tweeted one word to fellow commentator Matthews: "faggot."

TweetThe tweet was deleted from Cole's account soon after and he followed it up with an apology: “I apologize to any and all who were offended by my tweet toward young Josh Mathews,” Cole wrote. “It was obviously not meant the way it was taken.”

The WWE responded to TMZ about the incident: "WWE has alerted GLAAD to the situation and spoken to Michael Cole about his post. He has removed it and apologized for using hateful language. Michael will be included in the training session being done by GLAAD. WWE takes this very seriously and is against discrimination of any kind based on sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or other."

No statement from GLAAD as of yet.

[Above photo: Josh Matthews (L), Michael Cole (R). Twitter photo courtesy of TMZ.]


  1. Paul R says

    Nice that they’re doing this, but gays probably make up about 0.5% of WWE fans, if that. Not an excuse for hateful language, but I really don’t care and can’t claim surprise.

  2. Michael says

    Not to start the semantics debate, but I wonder if folks would just start asking themselves, “Would I use the ‘N-word’ in place of fa***t?” then maybe we could see this issue go away almost entirely. I don’t know either of this chaps, but I doubt his use of the word was actually in reference to Matthews’ sexuality. Classless, yes. Hateful, maybe. Excusable, never.

  3. skookster says

    Oh really? “I apologize to any and all who were offended… It was obviously not meant the way it was taken.” In other words, “I’m sorry IF anyone was offended, but THEY obviously took it the wrong way.”

    Here’s how a grownup apologizes: “I’m sorry for using such an offensive, hateful word. I obviously didn’t think about how it would be taken. Please forgive me.” Michael Cole is only sorry that he’s exposed his own bigotry.

  4. Francis says

    Michael, you’re right in that fa**ot is as offense to us as racial slurs, slurs against someones’ origin, gender, religion etc. The problem is, many people don’t take it (the offensiveness of the word) seriously, don’t take us as a group seriously, and don’t view us as equals in comparison to these other groups. Which is why, although more and more common these people are called out on their anti-gay language and criticized, these people continue to publicly use such language. It isn’t built in their psyches “Oh, this is wrong, I can’t say this” (in fact, the opposite is true), so the whole substituting the N-word strategy is effective but ultimately would never work. People like this don’t have respect nor care about the power this word has, so it’s good that the WWE is taking the issue seriously, and hopefully it brings a change in the mentality of wrestling, but it’s going to be a long term fix.

  5. Alex says

    What training session?!? do people really need training to learn how not be a homophobe or something? I don’t care if you feel a certain way about gay people, just don’t say it on a public forum like twitter where everyone will see. I mean how stupid can you be writing something like that and not expect anyone to read it and/or be offened by it.

  6. Brett says

    I’m pretty sure John Cena is gay. I saw him in Columbus, Ohio at a gym. I didn’t know who he was at the time. He was in town for a wrestling event.

    He was working out with a guy who was definitely not a wrestler. They were both setting off my gaydar and seemed to be more than just workout partners.

    The clincher was when they were done working out. There was a small group of fans waiting outside for him. Cena made the other guy stay behind in the gym. If they were just friends, or the guy was just an assistant, why make him hide? It seemed pretty obvious to me, in the gym, that he didn’t want them to be seen together by the fans outside

    It was the crowd that caused me to ask who he was. It had not heard if him before then.

    I realize there are probably other interpretations to what I saw, I’m just giving you my impression.

  7. Liam says

    “… do people really need training to learn how not be a homophobe or something?”

    In a a word, “yes”.
    A large number of them have had homophobia rammed down their throats from age zero onward by their churches and/or subcultures.

  8. jrl says

    I call people faggot all the time. Well, maybe not all the time. I only try to use it when they’re extra whiney/annoying and pansy-ish. Maybe if we stopped proactively owning and associating it with ourselves by taking offense at its use, regardless of its context, we would passively reduce intolerance, too.

    But seriously this is extreme overreaction. I certianly wouldn’t ask, nor care if, the WWE did anything to address this “issue.”

  9. Rob says

    There is so much homosexuality right under the surface of wrestling. My good friend teaches at a prep school in the East and chuckles about how all wrestlers are gay- sooner or later. Don’t have time for a girlfriend, etc, etc. He has never seen one in a normal relationship with a girl- not one.

    Truly straight men have no problem with same gender desire. It is the ones who have a little of it themselves who act out. Once we associate homophobic slurs with same sex attraction, convincingly, these people will shut up.

    PS: WWE is softcore gay porn.

  10. says

    “Faggot” was obviously not taken the way it was meant? Pray tell, how else was it meant to be taken then? It’s not obvious to me. Someone please enlighten me.

    Please think before you speak.

  11. Francis says

    Laughing, you homophobes always defend the worst of things. And you think you’re in the right? Pathetic bigot. By the way, us f*gs are already in the military, a lot of us doing better jobs than most heterosexuals. So yeah, bye bye troll, or at least be man enough to speak your homophobia in public.

    JRL, we can’t simply stop “owning” a word that is fundamentally connected to us. It’s that simple. Every single usage of the word ultimately is a slight against gay men and the gay community. Using it in the “you are weak/not a man/pansy” sense, well, what do you think the main stereotypes against gay men are? Oh yeah, that we are weak, not real men, pansies. What words do gay bashers use while attacking us? Fa**ot. It’s an anti-gay term, nothing more or less, and so therefore people are going to continue being called out when they use it. It isn’t acceptable.

    But yeah, as the idiot “Laughing” has proven, homophobia is basically a main tenant of fighting culture, sadly. The fan base of WWE are mostly made up of conservative white kids/men in rural areas (statistically most viewers of wrestling are from the South and Midwest). So, while I’m glad WWE has made an effort to reach out and change things, it’s going to be a very long-term fix. As Liam put it, these people have had homophobia drilled into them, and that combined with the macho culture and extremely fragile ego’s leads to a divisive culture for gay people.

  12. Francis says

    Billy, stop trying to trivialize homophobia by saying the f-word isn’t as offensive as other slurs.

    Rob, wrestling in it’s very nature is homoerotic. Sports in general are. It’s all men putting their bodies on men,men tackling men, men grabbing men, touching men in unmentionable places, men sleeping, eating, traveling with men for months at a time. That’s one of the main reasons sports/sportfans are so homophobic, though. Because they constantly feel as if they have to prove they aren’t gay or are “real men”. That insecurity is gay, literally.

  13. Mel Smith says

    Just like men should not be calling women, ‘b!tches.’ I don’t have a problem with women saying that amongst themselves.

    Heterosexual people should not be using the word, ‘f@ggot.’

    The same thing with nigg@r or redneck. As a black gay man, I should not be using an ethnic slur about a Jewish person or a white southerner. However, they can say whaatever amongst themselves.

  14. myles says

    The only real f*g in this world are gay people who excuse that word. Who excuse the use of that word. Or who think they’re being cutting edge and “cool” by adopting a word that has and will continue to be a word that belittles gays. Foolish gay men who have themselves convinced that this ugly word is not in relation to gays are the same pathetic self haters who were convinced that kids laughing at them in school were laughing with them. Some people just don’t have self respect.

    This word is not tolerated by me and the many straight people I know (who oddly take more ofense to it than even I do. As my good straight friend Kyle said once, why use a word that has so much negative history attached to it? For what reason? To be hip? Lame.)

  15. Kate says

    I see the way he meant it, and not in ANYWAY am I trying to say it is ok, but I don’t think he meant it offensive, even though it is. I have gay friends and have NOTHING against gays, but I have used that word before. I don’t anymore. He made a big msitake, and apologized and will probably never do it again. I think he should be cut some slack, and if he does it again then that is a different story.
    However, I have seen/heard gays call each other those names and others. It shouldn’t be ok for them to either, it sends the wrong message. Again, not trying to make excuses.

  16. TylerAnthony says

    I know gay men who use faggot regulary in a sexual way, and I know someone who uses ‘ni&&er dick’ when refering to sex with a black man.

  17. J says

    Guys…let the homophobes be honest about their homophobia,THEN,we’ll know who to support and who to give our money too.Like that,they can’t exploit us.

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