Vince McMahon Supported Big E, Kofi Kingston Taking Knee on WWE SmackDown

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com

WWE chairman Vince McMahon didn't stand in the way when Big E and Kofi Kingston proposed taking a knee during the June 12 edition of SmackDown.

Prior to a tag team match against Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E and Kingston knelt and raised their right fists in the air. They also wore armbands to honor Shukri Abdi, Breonna Taylor and Tamla Horsford.


.@WWEBigE & @TrueKofi battle @ShinsukeN & @WWECesaro right now on #SmackDown. https://t.co/7jY2CIzQLz

The Only Big E You Need In Your Life @WWEBigE

#JusticeForShukriAbdi #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor #JusticeForTamlaHorsford https://t.co/K13IQKJZC5

Big E addressed the gestures during an appearance on The Sports Bubble with Jensen Karp (h/t Wrestling Inc's Jason Ounpraseuth):

"So, we've done a few things, and I think we're going to continue to use some things like you mentioned, taking a knee, to bring attention to this movement on SmackDown. And the nice thing is, you know, we ran it by Vince McMahon, our boss, and he approved it. We got no pushback there.

"We got a lot of support from the company with the podcast and we can't typically put out video, not the whole video because of the way the contract is with our podcast, but they were so supportive with us putting up the whole conversation because we felt like it was important for people to listen to this hour plus, and to see it and to see our faces and see our expressions."

Throughout the country, Americans have protested police brutality, systemic racism and social inequality.

During the June 8 installment of The New Day's podcast, Big E became emotional when talking about the killing of George Floyd.

The Only Big E You Need In Your Life @WWEBigE

Couldn’t fathom talking about anything else. Today’s #NewDayPod with @AndreasHale. https://t.co/gIXQbJ0z0R

Floyd was killed in police custody on May 25. Four Minneapolis police officers, all of whom have since been fired, arrested Floyd while investigating an alleged forgery in progress. A video showed one officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes during the course of his arrest.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers are facing a charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

WWE issued a statement on June 2 saying it "condemns racial injustice" and "encourage everyone to use their voice to speak out against racism."