WWE distances from Hulk Hogan after alleged 'racist' tirade

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jul 24, 2015

Hulk Hogan might be down for the count.

World Wrestling Entertainment — the billion-dollar professional wrestling outfit where Hogan made his name in the 1980s — has distanced itself from him amid reports of an offensive rant from the wrestler surfacing on tape.

"WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds," a statement from WWE read on Friday morning. The statement was first obtained by the National Enquirer, who called their story a "world exclusive."

The same statement was also quoted by ABC News reporter Josh Cohan on Twitter just before 10 a.m. on Friday.

According to the Enquirer, Hogan was caught on tape "spewing foul-mouthed racial slurs — including the N-word." The report also credited with help in confirming the story.

After the story began making rounds on social media, Hogan apologized in a statement issued to People magazine.

"Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation," Hogan's statement read. "It was unacceptable ... and I apologize for having done it. This is not who I am ... I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs."

Astute wrestling fans were tipped that something might be wrong when Hogan's name completely disappeared from WWE's website and his merchandise was no longer being sold through the company's online shop, as of Friday morning.

At 1:17 a.m. Friday, Hogan sent a cryptic message to his 1.3 million Twitter followers.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.