NXT's Jordan Myles Rips T-Shirt Design as Racist; WWE Issues Statement

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2019

WWE

WWE responded to Jordan Myles' displeasure with a shirt designed for him, saying the superstar previously approved the design.

"Albert Hardie Jr. (aka Jordan Myles) approved this t-shirt for sale," WWE said in a statement. "As always, we work collaboratively with all of our performers to develop logos and merchandise designs and get their input and approval before proceeding. This was the same process with Albert, and we responded swiftly once he later requested that the logo/t-shirt be redesigned. No t-shirts were sold."

Myles took to Twitter over the weekend and called out WWE over the shirt design, a black shirt with lips and a smile with Myles' name that resembles the Sambo doll caricature. Myles called the design a "slap in the face to EVERY African American performer, fan and supporter."

"I've used this shirt as fuel. I knew the shirt existed, and my soul hasn't been able to rest properly since I've laid eyes on it. My voice will be heard... my true opinion will be heard.. and MY PEOPLE will have their moment," Myles tweeted.

Myles, 31, signed with WWE in February and won the NXT Breakout Tournament in August. That win led to him losing a well-received NXT championship match against Adam Cole, but Myles has not been seen on NXT programming since.

Cedric Alexander joined Myles in protest of the shirt by changing his Twitter profile to black and white and tweeting out "#ForTheCulture."

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While WWE replaced the shirt, Myles said his issue was with the shirt being designed in the first place.

The wrestling business' caricaturization of minorities has been an issue for decades. Certain characters portrayed by minority performers have been seen as stereotypes, and while the issue has gotten better, there have been instances in recent years where WWE took criticism for insensitivity.

Earlier this year, Kofi Kingston became just the fourth black WWE performer in history to win a heavyweight championship with the promotion.