In the grand scheme of things one might have predicted from 2020, Randy Orton getting woke is nowhere near the top ten. But then again, it's been an unpredictable year, and hey, no one would have predicted Shawn Michaels getting woke either, but, in a pleasant surprise, here we are. And so, when Randy Orton came out in support of Black Lives Matter last month after previously aligning himself with the All Lives Matter camp, it was both a surprise and not really a surprise.
The Viper recently gave an interview to CBS Sports about the subject, in which Orton goes into the details of why he changed his views. "When Kaepernick was kneeling, I looked at it as disrespecting the American flag and that he was disrespecting the servicemen and women who fight for our freedom and our free speech and come home in a coffin when they give the ultimate sacrifice. That coffin draped in an American flag. I think I went on Booker T's radio show and even said those things, and I believed them," Orton said. "It took me a little time, but what I had to do was realize, Kaepernick, he wasn't shitting on the flag. He wasn't disrespecting the people that have given their lives for our freedom. He was taking a stand against police brutality. As a white guy, I don't see it. But then I started listening to my black brothers and sisters, especially the ones I've known for years and some for more than a decade. I was hearing first-hand accounts of interactions with cops that took advantage of the situation and the power they had because they maybe felt a certain way about the color of someone's skin. That's when the lightbulb went off."
According to Orton, his only regret is not coming around sooner. And as for advice to those who haven't come around to Orton's new way of thinking yet, he boosted the voices of some of his Black co-workers in WWE, advising them to check out tweets from The New Day, Mark Henry, Shelton Benjamin, and R-Truth. "I'm embarrassed to say it, but it took me a little while, but I get it. What I said on Twitter, I stand behind," Orton said. "If anyone doesn't agree with me, I think they need to do more digging. Go look at Big E's Twitter from a week ago, go look at Xavier Woods' Twitter, go look at things Kofi said, that Mark Henry said, that Shelton said, that R-Truth said. If you read what they're saying and try to put yourself in their shoes for even just a minute, you're going to see right now that it's not fair. All lives do matter, but like I said on Twitter, until black lives matter, all lives can't matter. My only regret is that it took me a little bit and some soul searching to see that."