- Über Uns
|Statement regarding the culture of sexual & emotional abuse in pro wrestling|
We have been overwhelmed with the amount of reports about sexual and emotional abuse in pro wrestling. We have spent the last two days reading, evaluating and discussing thousands of tweets and found ourselves in a situation where initially we didn't know what to do.
We thought about the best way to react publicly. We did not want to write a press release or personal words prematurely. Our Twitter account has stopped posting mid-day yesterday as we feel right now the timelines shouldn't be used to advertise our products. We thoughts about not reacting in public but only internally.
Last night it hit us that there won't be the right words, there was no ad-hoc plan we could reveal for this situation. Keeping silent was not an option.
First and foremost we would like to say that feel with all victims that haven spoken out and the ones that haven’t spoken out. It’s is extremely disturbing to think about all the situation that these brave victims described. We often assume that the pro wrestling bubble many of us live in is so wonderful but it isn't. It’s sad we needed the recent days to realize it.
When wrestling picked up in Germany again about 20 years ago it wasn’t a nice place to be in for young wrestlers, trainees or women involved. Our goal has been to create a better atmosphere than the one we started with. One that welcomes everyone and ensures an environment everyone enjoys. While this wasn't wrong, it might have been a bit superficial.
The basis of all of this should have been to create a safe environment for everybody to be in. And with everybody we truly mean everybody, from the ones involved in the event in any way to the fans attending it.
There is no master plan, no solution we are able to present within such a short time frame.
We have scanned through thousands of tweets, we have searched for the ones mentioning wXw, the wXw Wrestling Academy, Germany, wrestlers/coaches we used to work with and wrestlers/coaches we were planning to work with in the future. We are going to follow up investigating all of these.
We have prepared a system to reach out to our wrestlers and staff members, to our Academy coaches, to our Academy members. We are going to make them aware of the systemic problem. We are going to make them aware what kind of behaviour we won't tolerate. We are going to make them aware that this problem starts earlier than they might think, be it with coaches making fun of other students in front of students, with talent chatting up fans and exchanging phone numbers / social media accounts, with using derogatory terms like 'ring rats'.
Equally importantly we are going to make sure they know they have our attention. We are going to encourage them to speak up about any issues, so we can tackle them.
We would like to extend the same to you. Everyone from fans to wrestlers to other promoters who has ideas how to create the best possible and safest environment, please reach out to us. We will listen to all suggestions.
Even more importanly everyone reading this who hasn't felt comfortable being around at wXw events or our wrestling school, don't hesitate to contact us. We will listen to you. You can contact us via email to felix.kohlenberg@wXw-wrestling.com or tassilo.jung@wXw-wrestling.com.