In the dumbest comments Hulk Hogan has made since 2015, the WWE Hall-of-Famer blamed COVID vaccines for killing Betty White, Sidney Poitier, and Bob Saget. Hogan responded to a comment on a Facebook post about the death of Saget, agreeing with an anti-vaxxer who said Saget got a booster shot a few days before his death to write, "100% Betty and Sidney were also jabed their (sic) dropping like flies, but they'll never say it." Hogan later removed the post, editing it to say simply, "I," but it had already been screencapped and put on blast on social media and wrestling news sites.
Of course, putting his foot in his mouth is nothing new for the Hulkster. The wrestling icon's legacy was forever tarnished in 2015 when a recording of him repeatedly using the n-word in a racist rant was made public, forcing WWE to fire him and temporarily remove him from the Hall of Fame. On the tape, secretly recorded while Hogan was engaging in cuckold sex with the wife of Florida radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, Hogan detailed his feelings on Black people and under which conditions he would be okay with them having sex with his daughter, Brooke Hogan. The tape was exposed as part of a lawsuit by Hogan, funded by conservative PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel in his quest to destroy the news site, Gawker.
"I don't know if Brooke was ****ing the Black guy's son," Hogan could be heard saying on the tape. "I mean, I don't have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, ****ing ****ers. But then when it comes to nice people and ****, and whatever. […] I mean, I'd rather if she was going to **** some ****er, I'd rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall ****er worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player! I guess we're all a little racist. ****ing ****er."
That would have probable permanently ended the career of any normal man. However, Hogan managed one of his classic comebacks a few years later after making several non-apologies about the comments, in which he attributed his exile to "a few mispoken words" and likened it to "being at the wrong place at the wrong time." WWE, all-too-eager to sell Hulkster merchandise again and ship him to Saudi Arabia to please the royal family, welcomed Hogan back into the fold, claiming they were only working with him to "help others learn from his mistakes." Within a year, Hogan was making public appearances for the company without even the pretense of remorse. Hogan recently hosted WrestleMania, paired with an uncomfortable-looking Titus O'Neil to prove how not racist he is.
Hogan's comments further his longtime rivalry with fellow wrestling legend Ric Flair, as the two compete to see who can make the most tone-deaf, desperate-for-attention comments on social media in their golden years. Flair has also become persona non grata in the wrestling business after Vice's Dark Side of the Ring documentary series exposed claims of sexual harassment against The Nature Boy in a way that finally damaged his image, though the stories of Flair's antics had frequently been celebrated, including on the WWE animated series Story Time, where Naitch exposing himself to flight attendants was turned into a cute animated short. Perhaps learning from their mistakes with Hogan, WWE released Flair from his Legends contract prior to the release of the Dark Side of the Ring episode, though, if they follow the Hogan template, Flair will likely be back in WWE by 2024. Wooo!