Big E opens up about the latest racial issues
Submitted by Aaron Rift on 06/29/2020 at 01:37 PM

In an interview with The Sports Bubble with Jensen Karp, Big E gave his thoughts on the latest racial issues in the United States:

ďThe stuff with George Floyd and the aftermath really weighed so heavy on meÖ And you know, for the three of us [The New Day] we donít, we donít have the answers, but we want it to speak to our experiences. So many of my friends, young black men who have bad histories of being pulled over by police, of being harassed by police, of being unjustly stopped. Like we, this is something that weíve talked about. And so many, especially now, so many of my friends have kids now and theyíre having to, you know, we talk about the talk usually is the birds and the bees and talking to your kids about sex, but for so many black men and women, their talk to their kids is about how to act when youíre pulled over by police, because you donít know what can happen. If you donít follow the letter of everything, they say, you, you fear that your child can be unjustly killed. And even if they do follow every single thing theyíre told, you never know. So, thatís a big part of what it means to raise a black child. And thatís scary and thatís frightening and thatís sad.

And you know, even me, like I got pulled over, I never got into any trouble, never had any issues with the law, but Iím in college. It was a group of us Ė we had this youth leadership program Ė we all played college football at Iowa and someone said that we had a gun in the car and called the cops and we didnít have a gun in the car, but we got pulled over. I had a gun pulled on me by a cop. And who knows like how that could have gone. To have a gun, a few inches from your face and Iíve done nothing wrong. And this, this happens time and time again. So, for us, itís very frustrating. Itís very sad. And, I found the George Floyd news really, really weighed heavy on me and something that was, it was at the forefront of my mind for days and days Ė over a week, Iím thinking about it. And for me, I kind of felt some hopelessness, but I didnít want to just use my anger and frustration and do nothing. I wanted to at least have a conversation and itís been nice, man. We weíve had so much feedback from different people who reached out and said, man, I didnít consider these things until I listened to your podcast [The New Day podcast] and I learned something or I heard a perspective Iíd never heard before and thank you. And you know, Iím not going to presume to say we have all the answers or any answers, but we just wanted to speak to our experiences to not be preaching, to, to not tell people how to feel or what to, to believe, but to tell you how we feel to tell you our experiences, to tell you the experiences of our black friends and what they go through and the things that are in their minds when it comes to being pulled over by police. So, a lot of what weíve done recently is trying to raise awareness. And, you know, sometimes I really think, I donít know the power or the purpose sometimes of a tweet or an Instagram post. And I really like sometimes I wonder, am I just screaming into a void or patting myself on the back when I post something and feeling like Iíve done something and thatís not. I wanted to make sure that it came from a good place, a place of actually wanting to help make our country and our society more equitable. I wanted to make sure it came from a place of, not self-aggrandizement, but a place of wanting to actually see a better world. So, weíve done a few things and I think weíre going to continue to use some things like you mentioned, taking a knee, to bring attention to this movement on SmackDown. And the nice thing is, you know, we ran it by Vince McMahon, our boss, and he approved it. We got no pushback there. We got a lot of support from the company with the podcast and we canít typically put out video, not the whole video because of the way the contract is with our podcast, but they were so supportive with us putting up the whole conversation because we felt like it was important for people to listen to this hour plus, and to see it and to see our faces and see our expressions.

So we were, we were thankful that we got support from the company too, but weíve done different things. Like you said, we put the names of the victims Ė of these people who lost their lives and shouldnít have. Put them on armbands Ė Shukri Abdi, Brianna Taylor, Tamla Horsford, Ryan Milton and so many more. Weíve tried to do a lot, weíre trying to learn ourselves with readingÖ. And weíve got a few other things in the mix too, that weíre trying to not just post on Twitter and on social media, but to help raise money too for organizations that are working towards racial justice. So, itís been a lot of that, just trying to do the work in our communities to try to stay on top of this, to keep even just keeping the conversations going, man, honestly, just, just to keep talking about this. And I think too often, we just shied away from this because we didnít want to be labeled a racist and it can be uncomfortable because as soon as you feel that someone is saying youíre racist or youíre racially insensitive, your first instinct can be to backpedal or to defend yourself. And I, for me, I donít want it to be about, itís not about labeling people around me racist or pointing fingers, itís about having these honest conversations and analyzing the biases that we carry and being honest about that. And for us, man, itís really just about like the same protection I want for my female friends and for my gay friends and people, I donít know who are gay or female, the same protections that I would want for them, I want for black men and black women.Ē

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