Last month, Hulk Hogan was literally erased from WWE’s archives overnight, after the release of recorded conversations that revealed he’d used racial slurs while discussing his daughter’s relationship with a “black billionaire.” And just like that, a career that spanned nearly 40 years – and a legacy as one of the most beloved wrestlers of all-time – was wiped away.
Now, Hogan’s attempting to rebuild his reputation, kicking off a mea culpa tour in an interview with ABC News.
Since being fired from WWE, Hogan has laid low. Outside of a cryptic tweet and personal statement, Monday marked the first time he addressed the incident on a public platform. During an interview aired on Good Morning America, a teary-eyed Hogan begged for forgiveness and said not only has this been the lowest point of his life, he also contemplated suicide.
“Oh, my gosh. Please forgive me. Please forgive me. I’m a nice guy,” he said. “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.”
Despite saying “I am racist, to a point, fucking niggers” in audio obtained by the National Enquirer, Hogan insists he’s not a racist. Rather, he says he was angry at his daughter when the conversation was recorded, and blamed his remarks on his upbringing on the streets of Port Tampa, Florida.
“It was a really rough neighborhood, very low income, and all my friends greeted each other saying that word,” he said. “The word was just thrown around like it was nothing.
“I would say that is very fair,” Hogan responded when asked if he inherited a racial bias. “The environment I grew up in, all my white friends, all my black friends, you 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 environment I grew up in.”
Hogan will soon find out if time truly heals all wounds. You know, for the sake of his vice presidential campaign.