King Kofi Kingston About To Go Savage: Is CM Punk a Racist?

Matt ClementsCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2010

Lately, like the rest of you, I've really enjoyed the commentary on Raw courtesy of CM Punk.  Apparently, the announce team has been asked to start making more inside references and obligatory jabs at each other, and nobody is doing it better than CM Punk. 

From the start when he called out Alex Riley on his current DUI arrest in Florida, I knew we were in for a breath of fresh air.

Two weeks ago, during the King of the Ring tournament, CM Punk made us all spit whatever we were drinking out of our noses when he said quite casually, "King Kofi Kingston.  The initials are terrible, but the name sounds great," in reference to the Ku Klux Klan. 

It was one of those OMG, I can't believe he went there moments that have come to be part of the intrigue that is CM Punk's commentary.

I'm still of that opinion, but I can't help but think many of Punk's references are treading the line of good taste and entering the realm of the outright defamatory. 

We come again to Kofi Kingston.  During this week's tag match with Daniel Bryan vs. Ted Dibiase and Dolph Ziggler (horribly botched, by the way, which is too bad coming from both Ziggler and Bryan), Bryan made the tag to Kofi, who began his "controlled frenzy" against Ziggler. 

As Kofi was beginning to go for the boom drop, Punk said "And once Kofi starts going, it's hard to stop him. He's going savage...."

Going savage?

Now, this isn't a reference to the Macho Man by any stretch of the imagination, and one can argue that Punk was merely creating his own version of Cole's "controlled frenzy" catchphrase and didn't quite think though the ramifications of what he being live TV and all. 

Still, CM Punk said an African-American individual was about to go savage.

Some may say I'm being too sensitive to the issue and making much ado about nothing, but the fact is that the term savage has a horrible history when it comes to indigenous populations eventually dominated by colonialism. 

The literature of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries is replete with references towards Native Americans and Africans as savages, and to me, to use the term "go savage" is insensitive at the least and bigoted at the most.

Punk is one of my favorite wrestlers, and I've enjoyed his commentary on Raw, primarily due to its edginess.  Still, one can be edgy without becoming a racist, and off the color jabs about race is a pattern I hope I don't continue to see.