Hulk Hogan, the former professional wrestler whose tenure as a walking Pavlovian beef-jerky ad came to an end last month after he was caught spewing racial epithets on tape, has apologized for his less-than-brotherly behavior. Hogan appeared on Good Morning America this morning in his first interview since being fired from the WWE in July; in the interview he apologized for his behavior, saying that he was suicidal around the time the sex tape (or, in this particular case, post-sex tape) was filmed. The depression, he says, had something to do with his daughter and her boyfriend. We won’t speculate on what.
“I never should have said what I said,” he said. “It was wrong.” He’s not a racist, he adds, he was just raised around them: “People need to realize that you inherit things from your environment,” he said. “And where I grew up was south Tampa, and it was a really rough neighborhood, very low income. And all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word. The word was just thrown around like it was nothing.”
Having used what will hereafter be referred to as The Eminem Defense, Hogan admitted that he may have “inherited” a “racial bias” from his upbringing. He then asked his fans for forgiveness, saying, “Oh, my gosh. Please forgive me. Please forgive me … I think if you look at the whole picture of who Hulk Hogan is, you can see over all the years that there’s not a racist bone in my body.”
UPDATE: The WWE isn’t having any of The Hulkster’s apology, telling The Hollywood Reporter that “At this time, the WWE remains steadfast in its decision” to erase Hogan from the WWE Hall Of Fame.