On the surface, the June 12 episode of “SmackDown” appeared to be no different.
Once the two veteran stars stepped into the ring, however, both dropped to one knee and raised their fists in the air, a symbolic gesture nearly three weeks after the death of George Floyd.
“When Kofi and I got to the Performance Center that day, we felt like we had to do something,” Big E [real name Ettore Ewen] told Yahoo Sports. “We went and had a conversation with our boss, Vince McMahon, and he was completely on board. We felt like that even if it was just a five-second gesture, it was important to let people know that the things that affected them, we were feeling too. We’re not above this because we’re on TV or because we make money, we’re still people. I was born Black, I will die Black, I have lived my life as Black American much longer than I will ever be a WWE wrestler.”Yahoo Sports
How Big E feels about his current singles run
“This is all kind of coming out of nowhere. I feel confident that I am ready for this. The interesting thing and weird thing is we don’t have that organic response. I hope people enjoy this run, I hope it’s good and entertaining, I hope all of the people who have clamoured for this for years are not disappointed.”Yahoo Sports
“I always see it as I am a representative of the New Day. The same way that Kofi credited Woods and me and said that when he won it was for all of us, that’s the same feeling I have. This adds to all of our legacies because I don’t get this far, I don’t have this much without those two. I don’t even know if I am around in this company without those two.”