WWE veteran and Knox County, Tennessee Mayor Glenn “Kane” Jacobs did an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A on Reddit earlier today and was asked why he worked the WWE Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia this past November, despite the controversies surrounding the event.
Kane responded, “Because WWE donated $100,000 to the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation which was arranged long before the controversy. I made a commitment to our local first responders and I wasn’t willing to break that.”
WWE faced calls to change the location of Crown Jewel back in November after a team of Saudis carried out the state-sponsored murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Fans, politicians and others criticized WWE’s working relationship with the Kingdom in the weeks leading up to Crown Jewel but the company went ahead with the event due to their contractual obligations. Kane faced more pressure than the other WWE Superstars because of his role as Knox County Mayor.
WWE announced one month before Crown Jewel that they were donating $100,000 to the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation. A press release noted that Kane requested the donation in appreciation for his return to WWE TV, which included the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia and the Super Show-Down event in Australia. WWE officials are scheduled to present the $100,000 check to the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation at Saturday’s live event in Knoxville. Kane is expected to be there for the presentation.
The foundation benefits employees of the Knoxville Fire Department, Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Office and University of Tennessee’s Police Department. The KPSF supports employees and their families that have suffered catastrophic injuries, illness, death or other significant events.
“I appreciate his gesture to the heroes who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way and look forward to his continued progress in his mission,” said Vince McMahon in the press release for the donation.