When a child is growing up, there are always things that captivate them. Whether it be a book or a television show, there is always something that has their attention. And usually in that, there is a person or group of people that are leaned on as the idols of that child. As a child grows up, he or she mimics that idol through their style and whatever they may say. The hero takes a special part in a child’s life and in their eyes, the idol they have can do no wrong. Eventually, the child grows up and becomes an adult. But even then, part of that impression their idol left when they were a child remains. Well, Hulk Hogan was a hero to a lot of kids that grew up in the 80’s. Hulkamania ran wild and everyone bought into it as a kid, as they ran around in red and yellow gear. Many still rocked with the Hulk in this day and age even though he was older and slower than he used to be. He was wrestling royalty and many still treated him as such. But in light of the recent comments he reportedly said, that view has definitely changed across the board.
Hogan reportedly used the N-word when speaking about people and specifically addressing his daughter’s boyfriend in a tape that he is battling in a lawsuit right now. And although it was a private conversation that many may not have ever heard if it were not leaked, it still was something that he should have never uttered. Hogan has since apologized, and now there are many weighing in on both sides of the equation. Some have said that Hogan was wrong but is not racist. And others have said it is something they can never forgive him for. He was definitely wrong for what he said. And only those that know him well can make the personal determination as to who and what he is. But to those that grew up watching him that are Black, he definitely has offended them. Me personally, I was in shock that he would say such things. The guy that I grew up watching on television and singing his praises had really thought what he said was okay, even if he said it in private. As a Black man, I was offended by his words and never thought that my hero growing up would even think to say what he said. But alas, Hogan said it and now he has to live with the consequences.
As a result of the discovered information, the WWE acted swiftly to let him know that they meant business. They took his images out of all WWE products, including videos. Hogan is now off the WWE roster and, unless you were a fan of his back in the 80’s and 90’s, it is like he never existed. Even though his image is not around the WWE anymore, he will always be remembered by many as one of the most iconic wrestlers of all-time. But the thing he did to a lot of grown men – those that remembered him dropping the Atomic Leg Drop – is edit their childhood. The memories that many had of cheering him on now float around in question in their minds. The cheers for the man many idolized are tainted. But Hogan cannot blame anyone else for the damage he did to his reputation. The person that did that damage is the person he sees every day when he looks in the mirror. What he did in private and thought would never come to light is now haunting him in the daylight. And the fact remains that no matter what he does, some of his former fans will never forgive him.
In this, many fans of his learned a valuable lesson. Idolizing someone can be a dangerous game and many now feel like a piece of their childhood has been clouded. All this because of someone they saw on television not being who we all thought he was in real life. But that is the difference, reality and television are two different things. The way someone is on television can be totally different in real life. Essentially you have to learn how to separate the vision painted in front of you from the reality of who someone is. Hogan put on a great show for us all over the years. But now he has been erased from the WWE and its history. And for some, he has been permanently erased from their minds. Who would have thought that a few select words would crush the childhoods of grown men?