AW Says His Kobe Bryant Joke Was Not Malicious, WWE Personnel Furious
During Monday’s live WWE Raw broadcast, A.W. made a crass joke referencing NBA player Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case years ago. As client Titus O’Neil tangled with Kofi Kingston in a singles match, A.W. yelled from ringside, “Titus O’Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado hotel room. He’s unstoppable!!” The WWE personality issued an apology late Monday evening via Twitter and noted that “there was no malicious intent behind the joke.”
A.W. wrote, “It was either a Kobe or Lebron joke. Lebron jus won the Finals so there you have it..Myself!”
The remark was in reference to the basketball star being accused of sexual assault in summer 2003 after having sex with a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado. In September 2004, prosecutors dropped the case after his accuser refused to testify. A civil suit was later filed and settled out of court.
Following the commercial break, WWE broadcaster Michael Cole issued an apology on behalf of the organization for “remarks made by A.W.,” though without specifically referencing the joke. F4WOnline.com reports that many people were furious backstage over the remark, as well as in disbelief.
After Raw, WWE issued an official apology via TMZ.com reading, “A.W. made an inappropriate comment and WWE immediately apologized. WWE has taken appropriate action in the matter.” The representative, however, did not specify what “action” was taken against A.W.