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27th May 2019

Wrestler Cody Rhodes made an incredible speech about diversity that has gone viral

Wil Jones

Pro wrestling isn’t normally your first outlet for woke takes

But Cody Rhodes is changing that. The former WWE star wrestled at Double Or Nothing on Saturday night – the first event from All Elite Wrestling, the new promotion he has set up with Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham owner Tony Khan.

At the press conference, a reporter commented on the commendable amount of diversity on show on AEW’s first card.

“Is that something that’s intentional, or just that you are opening the doors for people of different genders, people of different colours, races, ethnicities?” the report asked Cody. “How did you go about making that decsion to have it be more diverse?”

Cody replied with an incredibly eloquent and informed answer, referring to the lessons learnt from his African American wife (and fellow wrestler) Brandi Rhodes.

“I am in an interracial marriage and I have learned a lot that I would have never known,” Cody told reporters. “I told Brandi one time that I don’t see colour and she said ‘well, then you don’t see my experience'”.

“And I thought, ‘oh, you can’t just say that’. You need to be able to see that experience, or at least understand it.”

“The old territory system of ‘just one,’ that’s out. The best wrestlers are gonna field the game and that’s a very diverse profile. I’m really proud of it. We’re gonna promote them as wrestlers. We’re not gonna make it a PR element for us. And I’m really proud of that because it’s about the wrestling.”

Cody’s comments have received much praise for his words, both in and out of the wrestling world.

The clip was even shared by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“This exchange is a promising peek into what growth looks like in our national discourse on race,” said AOC in a tweet. “Thanks for sharing your experience in this powerful moment.”

AEW’s roster includes openly gay wrestler Sonny Kiss, and Nyla Rose, the first transwoman to be signed to a major American wrestling company.