WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

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WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 6:42 am

Justin Roberts has written a heartfelt, passionate and fascinating blog post about how the WWE twisted the story of Connor and the WWE, twisted the words of the Ultimate Warrior's HOF speech and blatantly used philanthropy as a marketing tool. I think the blog is well worth a read, however disheartening it is at times, and sadly unsurprising. I won't copy and paste the whole article as its quite long but I do suggest a read for those who are a bit softer in the old heart like me. Not required reading for cynics and robots http://www.wrestlingnewssource.com/news/38444/Justin-Roberts-Felt-WWE-Handled-Connor-The-Crusher-Michalek/

WWE's response is wonderfully taciturn, attempting to subtly refute but not deny Roberts' points.

WWE Statement:

“It is offensive to suggest that WWE and its executives had anything but altruistic intentions in honoring Connor and his legacy with The Warrior Award. In conjunction with Connor’s father, Connor’s Cure was established by Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer, and to honor a boy that so many people within the WWE family came to love. The fund is managed by the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation and has already raised more than $200,000 for pediatric cancer research.

In addition, following the Ultimate Warrior’s impassioned Hall of Fame speech last year encouraging WWE to recognize its unsung heroes, the Warrior Award was established in his memory to honor those who exhibit unwavering strength and perseverance, and who live life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of the Ultimate Warrior. With the full support and input of Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior, Connor Michalek was the first recipient of the Warrior Award, and moving forward the award will be given annually to acknowledge other unsung heroes among WWE’s employees and fans.

WWE is proud to use our global platforms to raise awareness for important social causes, including Connor’s Cure as well as our longstanding partnership with Make A Wish, our on-going partnership with Susan G. Komen, which has resulted in more than $1.5 million in funds raised, and our international partnership with Special Olympics.”


Further interest comes from a claim that their reports show they didn't actually contribute any money themselves to charity in their latest files. On top of that, their support of the Susan B Komen foundation becomes more ironic (and this will cause a weird joy for Gav I'm sure) when you see that their CEO Nancy Brinker took home a salary of $684,000 last year.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Samo on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 8:50 am

McMahon is a republican, so automatically doesnt believe in helping others, so these accusations wouldnt surprise me if they're true.

I dont doubt the sincerity of Dana Warrior or Daniel Bryan, or even giving Connor the award, but if WWE isnt donating any money themselves then its a bit rubbish. Raising awareness is great but im sure a company that size could make a sizable donation.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Crimey on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 11:52 am

The problem with Roberts part of the story is it's hard to see what his point is, I understand maybe he wanted to see WWE give more money to the foundation themselves but that doesn't appear to be the main crux of his argument. I do think he's slightly bitter that the story WWE told of Connor didn't involve him and instead painted Daniel Bryan in his role instead. I get that it must be frustrating but I do feel even if WWE had other reasons for highlighting Connor, the actual ends of them being involved has been entirely positive. Connor got to meet his heroes and the foundation gets a lot more publicity than it would have done otherwise. 

It can be frustrating when it seems clear that corporations do philanthropy for marketing reasons, but it's better than them not doing philanthropy at all. I think Justin Roberts is a really nice guy and he obviously does care a lot about Connor and his family, but I think he didn't really have a message with what he wrote other than that he wanted to more recognition for his involvement. The story WWE told didn't harm Connor or the perception of Connor, it wasn't harmful towards the foundation, the only person it did harm was Justin Roberts who saw himself marginalised.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Adam D on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 2:09 pm

I think that's a great post Crimey and I think you've hit the nail on the head.

It's a shame for Justin but it was good to see that at least Connors father thanked him during his speech.

It's sometimes just the way it is that an unsung hero is the one behind the scenes making things happen but the credit goes elsewhere. *cough* hero *cough* Laugh

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Nay on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 2:18 pm

Good Point

Cheers for the forum Crimey.

On subject, you pretty much sum it up perfectly.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Crimey on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 2:24 pm

There is however a lot of irony in the fact that WWE's response to Justin Roberts continues to peddle the same story he was criticising. 

This phrase in particular  
those who exhibit unwavering strength and perseverance, and who live life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of the Ultimate Warrior. 
is the exact word for word sentence that has been used repeatedly by WWE.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Paul Mac 6CW on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 2:44 pm

I think having read Roberts' blog, the reply from WWE and then various bloggers reactions I can't help but think Roberts has lost sight on the bigger picture, the positives

A little boy got to enjoy a last few months fulfilling dreams
A family got to enjoy( enjoy may be strong given the circumstances) seeing their son 'happy'. Having lost a loved one at an early age amongst all the pain those moments however fleeting are oh so precious
Awareness of the illness has been raised and a considerable sum of money raised to fight it

Altruism is quite often thrown around by Companies, we're not stupid, we see the benefits they get publicly supporting causes but surely the important thing is the benefits that Connor and his family enjoyed and that the charity can now get from the link to WWE?


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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 3:11 pm

My problem is, and always with companies and people who promote their own charity, is that they aren't doing anything "charitable." Its more annoying that they themselves don't actually seem to give any money to charity, which is pretty dirty when they spend a chunk of time promoting their work with charities.

I also think Roberts' point about Warrior's speech is pertinent. Warrior was talking about the kind of people who work for the company who dont get the recognition of the wrestlers. Yet WWE immediately turned it into a publicity stunt.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Crimey on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 3:25 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:I also think Roberts' point about Warrior's speech is pertinent. Warrior was talking about the kind of people who work for the company who dont get the recognition of the wrestlers. Yet WWE immediately turned it into a publicity stunt.

I do agree that it was silly how they twisted it to suit the induction of Connor, but as the Warrior Award has only been used once, it's hard to judge whether going forward it won't also recognise the people Warrior wanted it to recognise. It was also done with the full support of Warrior's widow and family so it's hard to say that it was a hugely bad thing from WWE.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Samo on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 4:32 pm

Seems to be a rule that as soon as philanthropy becomes advertised its no longer viewed as philanthropy.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 6:36 pm

Samo wrote:Seems to be a rule that as soon as philanthropy becomes advertised its no longer viewed as philanthropy.

If you promote it yourself, whilst not actually donating any money, it isnt altruistic and as such I don't feel the desire to give them credit

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by kingraf on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 7:54 pm

Think Crimey nailed it head on. Obviously an emotional topic for Justin, and I think it came across.

On the subject of the E and their purse strings: I think it's fair enough to think they might have given a bit of their own money, given the fact that it's their initiatives. On the the other hand, the initiative itself has raised a lot of money and awareness, so on balance, I think they are in the credit.

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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

Post by kingraf on Sat 04 Apr 2015, 8:08 pm

Re the Ultimate Warrior award thing. To be fair, Warrior said a lot of things. Yes, the E probably juxtaposed his original meaning with a more... fan friendly one, bu they could just as easily have used his " Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat, his
lungs breathe their final breath … his essence, his spirit will be
immortalized by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those
who honor him and make what the man did live forever,” quote as the line and given Connor the award.
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Re: WWE claim Justin Roberts blog about Hall of Fame inductee Connor "the Crusher" Michalek is "offensive"

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