Arguably the most shocking and disheartening of the large number of wrestlers released by WWE last week was that of former NXT Champion Keith Lee. Fans were positive that Lee had all of the special qualities necessary to blow past WWE Chairman Vince McMahon's creative Death Star blast, but alas as many, many times before, the boss rose to the occasion to upset his fans and destroy another potential superstar in his stable. Well, now Keith Lee himself has decided it's time to address his situation by releasing a statement directly to fans.
Keith Lee took to his official Twitter account yesterday afternoon to speak directly to his fans and maybe even give us a look at how he's approaching his future.
"Greetings and salutations. This day is my birthday! It is not a happy birthday, but is is one I am most grateful for. Several months ago, it was not a guarantee I would make it to this day, so there is a positivity in that. I paid all my medical bills from the many offices and machines I frequented. There is positivity in that. And, I do find it amusing that people believe anyone but me paid for my medical expenses."
Keith Lee then continues, speaking specifically about his future.
"I was going to wait a couple weeks, but I think it's time to look toward the future, forward march as I like to say. I am capable of so much more and I can't wait to see what it looks like properly. I have a wide array of interests and abilities….I also consider myself to be rather open minded. Here's to a future that, for all intents and purposes….seems Limitless."
So, a couple of things are notable here. Keith Lee does not seem broken down or discouraged here but instead chose to focus on the fact that he almost lost his life not too long ago and is grateful to still be here, no matter where he is currently employed.
A lot of fans have jumped on Keith Lee's mentioning that he had to cover his own medical expenses throughout his health battle this past year, but honestly, that's not that surprising. WWE has always fought tooth and nail to not have to provide their talents like Keith Lee health insurance or benefits, thus their much-disputed classification as "independent contractors". WWE pays the wrestlers, covers their plane tickets (most of the time) and that's pretty much it. They are also very proud to state that they will cover the rehab of any current or former WWE wrestlers dealing with substance abuse, but there is a counter-argument that maybe those wrestlers wouldn't become addicted to narcotics and alcohol if they had basic healthcare to deal with their injuries throughout their careers.
Personally, I took note of the end of Keith Lee's statement where he references having "a wide array of interests and abilities" and being open-minded. Is he saying that maybe he's looking outside of the wrestling industry for a new career? Or that he's just looking for a change of scenery/situation?
These are questions only Keith Lee can answer for himself and I'm sure he will, as he seems to be a very bright and thoughtful man with a lot going for him. Hopefully, we'll find out about the next step on his journey soon.