With his public image a truck stuck in mud, Hulk Hogan refuses to let off the gas pedal. His wheels now spin, only making things worse.
He is clearly desperate for forgiveness for the racially charged comments that leaked earlier this summer. But Hogan has to be patient. Pleading his case as loudly and as often as he is doing only keeps his indiscretions fresh in people's minds. It makes him a permanent fixture in the news cycle.
The unsettling rant he went on may have been recorded years ago, but it was less than two months ago that the public knew of it.
A joint investigation from RadarOnline.com and the National Inquirer revealed that the former WWE star had fired off the n-word several times during a taped tirade. And within days, as TMZ reported, "WWE fired Hogan after learning of a transcript of comments made on his sex tape."
Hogan lost his gig as a judge for WWE Tough Enough, had his WWE.com profile removed and his image soiled.
There is no telling what kind of time is required to heal a wound like that, but Hogan wasn't about to find out. He didn't allow it to scab over at all.
He was active on Twitter right after his expulsion from WWE's ranks. Hogan retweeted a number of supportive messages. Some of these were a result of fans playing a joke on The Hulkster.
Since then, Hogan has only picked up the pace in his attempt to recover his good standing with fans.
He appeared on Good Morning America in an effort to explain himself. Hogan blamed his use of the n-word on his background, claiming to be a part of the culture he grew up in. An inherited racial bias led to the ugly words he used on that infamous recording, he explained.
More recently, he spoke with Sports Illustrated where he said, "I'm accountable for it, and I'm so sorry. But the real people who know me, they know I'm not a racist."
The issue with this interview, beyond it acting as another reminder of what Hogan said, is that it doesn't match up with what he said on Good Morning America. He talked then of using the n-word all the time in an environment where it was casually tossed around, but told Sports Illustrated, "I don't use the word, ever, except for in that moment of anger."
Pro wrestling writer Mike Mooneyham is among those who noticed how this poked holes in Hogan's own statement:
This only worsens things for Hogan. The public is sure to dissect his words and wonder if he's telling the truth. Some will analyze his level of contrition. Some will question his sincerity.
That doesn't happen if he doesn't do interviews. That doesn't happen if he simply shrinks away from the spotlight for the time being.
Hogan hasn't done that at all. Instead, he's been vocal on Twitter and made new headlines with new money-making ventures. As TMZ reported, fantasy draft site FanPicks.com signed him as a spokesman.
He is also set to appear at the Sheffield Arena in the United Kingdom for an event dubbed "An Evening with Hulk Hogan."
This isn't the time for that. As Hall of Famer Jim Ross pointed out, this is the time to lay low.
Ross addressed the issue on his podcast recently. He said, "Just lay back man, lay out brother and let things just get back to normal. We know you're not a racist, but I think every time you bring it up, you bring it up."
PWInsider's Dave Scherer had similar thoughts back in July. He wrote, "His best move now is to stop tweeting and talking, and instead enter into a sensitivity program and allow his actions to show he is working to get past the issue."
Both men are absolutely right. People tend to forgive and forget. That can't happen, though, if Hogan doesn't allow folks to forget.
Hogan has to let the storm clear before undoing the damage his words did. Time will lessen the negativity swirling around his name. For now, it's better that he let the talk of his racist rant die down. It's better that he let the public focus elsewhere for a change.
Standing on center stage, pleading with the crowd for their forgiveness, is not the answer.