AEW's Anthony Bowens Says 'We Still Have Work to Do' After Fan's Anti-Gay Slur

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Anthony Bowens (L) and Michael Pavano attend the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards New York  at New York Hilton Midtown on May 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GLAAD)
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GLAAD

All Elite Wrestling's Anthony Bowens addressed the anti-gay slur that was directed toward him during the most recent edition of AEW Dynamite.

One fan could be heard calling Bowens, who is gay, a "f--king f-g" on the television broadcast during his match. He told TMZ Sports on Monday, "Unfortunately, that kind of stuff comes with the territory, being an out LGBTQ athlete."

Bowens added he was "kind of glad" the slur was audible "because it just amplifies the message that we still have work to do." He said it was the first time he has heard the slur during one of his matches.

Despite what transpired last week, he cautioned that AEW fans shouldn't be painted with a broad brush.

"It's not indicative of the AEW fans at all," he said to TMZ Sports. "... Any interactions I've had with them since starting [at] the company have all been positive."

During an appearance on Busted Open Radio in June (via Wrestling Inc's Eric Mutter), Bowens also explained how AEW has built a supportive environment behind the scenes.

"When I first did Dark back in October, outside of me enjoying the product in general, I enjoyed how inclusive the locker room was," he said. "I saw Sonny [Kiss] walking around, Nyla [Rose] walking around. They were just being themselves."

Bowens echoed those sentiments on Monday: "AEW has been incredible in terms of the locker room and the support in allowing me and other athletes like myself to just go out and do what they love to do without any worry or judgment."