TMZ.com is running a story on Michael Cole calling fellow WWE announcer Josh Matthews a “faggot” earlier today via Twitter. This is exactly what WWE didn’t want to happen. You can expect the story to appear in numerous media outlets now that TMZ has picked it up. It’s obviously not good news for WWE, especially with Michael Cole set for a main event match at WrestleMania 27 next Sunday. Here is the TMZ.com article:
Less than two weeks after the WWE and GLAAD teamed up to say they were going to work together to curb homophobic slurs in wrestling, one of the WWE’s top announcers tweeted one at a fellow announcer.
Earlier today, Michael Cole simply tweeted one disgusting word towards fellow announcer Josh Mathews. Cole quickly took down the tweet and apologized.
The WWE and GLAAD announced a partnership on March 17 to try and put an end to bullying based on sexual orientation after a series of homophobic taunts was made by wrestler John Cena.
WWE said at the time: “WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents. 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.”
A rep for the WWE tells TMZ, “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.”
A rep for GLAAD could not be reached for comment.
It should be noted that Cole earlier tweeted that he was not told to issue an apology. WWE’s statement to TMZ.com contradicts that statement. “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.” He later added, “I was not ordered to apologize I said I am sorry because I am. Now can I get back to being a character again please?”