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Mark Henry: '50-50' Divide Among Black WWE Wrestlers on Hulk Hogan's Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2018

PHILADELPHIA,PA - JANUARY 20 : WWE Professional wressler and Powerlifter  Mark Henry looks on prior to the Philadelphia 76ers against the Milwaukee Bucks at Wells Fargo Center on January 20, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

While Mark Henry was open to Hulk Hogan's return to WWE, The World's Strongest Man admitted the reaction to Hogan's arrival was far from unanimous among his peers. 

Henry told TMZ Sports there's a 50-50 split among WWE's black wrestlers regarding Hogan.

"I do feel like he genuinely wants to clear his name. He sees people that used to respect him, they look at him different. And it hurts. And he brought that on himself. But, he's trying his best to clear that up," Henry said. 

"It's 50-50. I've talked to guys that were like, 'Man, the hell with him,'" Henry said of other black WWE wrestlers. "And I had guys that were like, 'You know what, man, if you're willing to make a change and try to help out and go and speak up and be a part of the answer rather than a part of the problem, then it's all good.'" 

Henry's comments largely echo what he said on SiriusXM's Busted Open Radio in March. The former world champion explained a number of wrestlers in the WWE locker room were lukewarm toward a Hogan return:

SiriusXM Busted Open @BustedOpenRadio

"I don't know if I'm ready. There's a lot to be done." - @TheMarkHenry addresses the discussions between Hulk Hogan and the WWE, if we should see him at #WrestleMania 34 and what Hogan should do if he wants to come back. https://t.co/CfZ23zlLaO

WWE announced Sunday it reinstated Hogan into its Hall of Fame. It was the company's first formal acknowledgment of Hogan since it terminated his contract and removed his profile from the "Alumni" section of its website in July 2015.

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The cutting of ties came after his 2012 sex tape leaked online. On the tape, Hogan used a racial slur in reference to his daughter's boyfriend.

Although WWE took the step of rebuilding its relationship with Hogan, PWInsider's Mike Johnson reported Sunday the company hasn't signed him to a legends contract. Hogan was backstage for Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, but he didn't appear on the show.

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