Hulk Hogan gave an interview with Good Morning America where he explained why he used racist language in an intimate tape leaked by Gawker (the transcript of the tape was leaked by National Enquirer).
Hulk admitted to wrongdoing when the story first broke. He originally said the words “I am racist”. In this week’s interview he takes it back and claims “I am not racist.” Here’s his full explanation:
“I’m not a racist but I never should have said what I said. It was wrong. I’m embarrassed by it.
People need to realize that you inherit things from your environment. And where I grew up was south Tampa, Port Tampa, and it was a really rough neighborhood, very low income. And all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word. [That word was] just thrown around like it was nothing.”
I would say that is very fair [to say I inherited a racist/racial bias].
The… the environment I grew up in in south Tampa and all my white friends, all my black friends, to hear the word on a daily basis when they’d greet me in the morning, that’s what they’d say to me, ‘Good morning,’ so-and-so.
I think that was part of the culture and the environment I grew up in and I think that’s fair to say.”
Hulk told GMA about being depressed: “I was at the lowest point of my life, to the point where I wanted to kill myself… Everything I’ve done my whole career, my whole life, was like it never happened… like I never existed, it was devastating.”
He asked viewers to forgive and forget: “Please forgive me. I’m a nice guy … not the Hulk Hogan that rips his shirt off and — bang bang — slams giants. I’m Terry Bollea, I’m just a normal man.”
Previously Enquirer/RadarOnline claimed that Hulk used racial slurs to describe daughter Brooke Hogan’s suitors.
Hulk said on tape (via leaked transcript): “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f**k some n**ger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n**ger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!”
Hulk admitted in the same leaked transcript: “I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f**king n**gers… I guess we’re all a little racist. F**king n**ger.”
He has since worked things out with Brooke. Hulk told GMA: “If anybody should’ve disowned me, it should’ve been her. She should’ve been the one to throw me out like trash, but instead, she showed more love than anybody.”
Hulk added of the fallout with his daughter: “Just because a person makes a mistake, don’t just throw them away.”
Hulk asked GMA viewers for a second chance: “If everybody at their lowest point was judged on one thing they said, and all of a sudden your whole career was wiped out because of something you said 10 or 20 years ago, it’d be a sad world. People get better every day.”