WWE Suspends Chris Jericho for 30 Days: Why Politics Forced the Decision
Chris Jericho's suspension for 30 days has been a hot button topic as of late. Jericho's suspension puts a potential match with Randy Orton at No Way Out in jeopardy.
A lot of wrestlers and fans have weighed in on Jericho's suspension. The overwhelming majority appears to condemn the Brazilian government's overreaction to the incident.
John Layfield posted a lengthy Facebook post about the backlash he received when his JBL character made pro-Nazi antics while at a WWE house show in Germany. He was not disciplined for the incident.
My initial reaction was that of shock that Brazilian policemen would threaten to arrest Chris Jericho for kicking a flag. Nationalistic pride is something some governments take very seriously in their country.
It is clear to me WWE is trying to make amends to the Brazilian government by suspending Jericho for 30 days. WWE had no choice but to cave in to the demands of the country's laws.
Otherwise, the ramifications could have been disastrous. Brazil could have banned WWE from ever holding an event there again. An even worse scenario is Jericho could have been imprisoned in a Sao Paulo jail indefinitely.
In short, WWE had no choice but to suspend Chris Jericho. It was a move which saved them a lot of heartache in the future.
Should Chris Jericho be suspended for desecrating the Brazilian flag?
The fact is, WWE must be politically correct at all times.
This is not the first time WWE has had to backtrack due to an incident at a house show. It will certainly not be the last one either.
Linda McMahon's campaign and WWE's alliances with various political organizations have forced them to be constantly vigilant of keeping their product politically correct. Otherwise, the company would lose a lot of money from corporate sponsors.
Moreover, WWE is a publicly traded company in the New York Stock Exchange. Their shareholders will devalue WWE if they burn bridges with these organizations.
However, with all that said, the right thing for WWE to do is to never return to Brazil again, unless the government's treatment of WWE performers improves. Brazil's government cannot be trusted since they were inclined to arrest them at a drop of a hat (or a kick of a flag).
Sadly, WWE will never acknowledge that the Brazilian government is at fault for overreacting to a simple kick of a flag.
What should have happened was the police should have just fined Jericho, who could have been suspended a week or two until the issue blows over.
I am appalled that a corrupt government can humiliate a foreigner without any repercussions. WWE must respond to this attack by the Brazilian government.
Their obsession with image in political circles has ruined their product. Political correctness and wrestling are two items that are not supposed to mix. WWE must stop pretending like it can or will mix.
I understand that Jericho made a mistake by denigrating the Brazilian flag. Jericho never should have gone off script by trying to draw more heel heat. Breaking any law in a foreign country is a major mistake to make.
This is not the first time WWE was in hot water for a politically-related incident.
Former WWE employee Finlay was fired over his decision to have Miz interrupt the national anthem at a house show as National Guardsmen were offended by the Miz's interruption of the national anthem.
As a result, WWE placated them by firing Finlay. In my opinion, Finlay losing his job was a travesty of justice. It is beyond me why WWE would fire someone for doing their job.
An aspect of the professional wrestling business which political entities often fail to realize is the scripted nature of the sport. It is not unlike watching a movie in real time, if that makes sense.
Wrestlers are acting out their characters in the wrestling ring. Pro wrestling is a very unique genre in the world of sports entertainment. There is a difference between wrestling characters and performers.
Chris Irvine did not kick the flag. Chris Jericho did. Mike Mizanin did not interrupt the national anthem. The Miz did.
Keep in mind wrestling has never been politically correct historically. Heel characters such as The Iron Sheik or Muhammad Hassan successfully played off stereotypes based on the political environment at the time.
The London bombings in 2005 cost Hassan his job in the WWE. This was a watershed moment in their history. Political correctness became an absolute must to avoid bad publicity.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. This is just the world we live in today. Everything must be politically correct out of fear of offending someone.
Regardless of how fans feel about this incident, WWE had no choice but to punish Jericho.
WWE did not want to alienate a potential market in Brazil. Sadly, their forced relationship with politics in the context of today's environment has caused some injustices.
And that is a shame.
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