“Based on sketchy stories and what wrestlers have been talking about, at catering, somebody asked [Web producer] to clean off his plate. The person joked something along the lines of how that’s Del Rio’s job. Del Rio found out and confronted him. As the story goes, he didn’t apologize and then smiled at him, and Del Rio slapped him.”
WWE fans on Twitter immediately reacted, most landing squarely in favor of Del Rio despite the unconfirmed rumors.
Alberto Del Rio just got fired for slapping a WWE Social Media manager about a racist comment… But the “victim” didn’t…
— J. Sims (@JRocc205) August 8, 2014
In response to the outcry, the WWE basically ignored it, giving no further explanation of what happened and deciding instead to stick by its decision of letting Del Rio go by releasing two short sentences this time.
(2/2) There’s no excuse for a pro athlete not to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
— WWE (@WWE) August 8, 2014
Whether the rumor is true or not, the WWE does have a point. Pro wrestlers are only required to look like they’re fighting, not actually fight — especially if it’s behind the scenes. At the same time, if the rumors are true and racism was involved in the altercation, WWE fans have made it clear that the slapping recipient should also be fired. While violence is not okay in the workplace, neither is racism.