Bully Ray’s Demeaning Comments – How Far Is Too Far?

Bully RayHeel heat. It’s what every antagonistic “bad guy” character must get from the crowd to have success. Whether or not the fans care will ultimately determine how much success one has. While many performers will admit it’s easier to make someone hate you than it is to make them like you, the bottom-line for anyone that comes through the curtain is they must get over. If they’re over, they’ll draw. If they draw, everyone gets paid.

TNA Champion Bully Ray is one of the most over characters in TNA Wrestling. He was over before he turned and had fans throwing punches after his work last Thursday. Let’s also not forget the trash throwing at Lockdown (despite the legitimacy being called into question).

However, there was an incident last Thursday that shifted the conversation. Not the incident where a fan was ejected for hurling a punch at Bully Ray but it was an incident that saw Bully Ray hurling blows of his own. They weren’t physical but they were hurtful.

For those that missed our report on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the incident occurred as Bully Ray was on his way out of the Sears Centre last Thursday night. Angrily approaching a fan in-character, Bully Ray launched into his tirade.

“Sit down, faggot! Yeah… You’re not going to do a damn thing. You got punked in your own frickin’ town. I’m punkin you out in front of… I’m going to say your daughter. You got punked! You invented fags, you fag. You should’ve did something already, you should’ve did something already, but you ain’t doing nothing’. I’m punking you in front of your hometown. You frickin’ queer. You shave your frickin’ chest.”

You can see it go down at the 6:18 mark of the video embedded below:

Now, before we go any further I want to make my opinion crystal clear. I am an inclusiveness. I despise homophobia, racism, sexism and any other type of xenophobic behavior. The fact that we have to have politicians debate whether or not two people have the right to be married sickens me. We were all created equal and have the right to be treated as such. I long for the day where these primitive and embarrassing issues are no longer in existence.

Back on topic, I was asked in Wednesday’s Ask WNW if I believe the TNA Championship will be taken off Bully Ray due to his rant. While I do not think that’s going to happen, I don’t want to seem nonchalant about it either. What Bully Ray did was not right and his comments were inappropriate. But it’s also worth noting that Bully Ray was in-character. He was walking up to fans and insulting them in kayfabe. In other words, his comments were part of the show to highlight his character… a character that is literally a “Bully.”

Ray’s rant was not televised but he had a rant just days earlier at TNA Lockdown that was. Grabbing the microphone after winning the TNA Championship, Bully Ray looked over at his former (now current?) tag team partner, Devon, and hurled some instructions in regards to his storyline “wife” Brooke Hogan.

“Devon, let that stupid bitch cry.”

You can see the rant at the 3:20 mark of the video embedded below:

Brooke HoganAs mentioned, the above rant was televised and closed the pay-per-view. No apologies were issued and Memes flooded social media of Ray’s infamous instructions to Devon. Referring to Brooke Hogan as a “stupid bitch” not only demeans a group but an entire gender of people that have also faced hundreds of years of unfair discrimination.

What I’m wondering is how far is too far? Should an antagonistic character, literally called Bully, be allowed to use this type of language? Or should this type of language be banned across the board?

And why does Bully get a pass for the televised comments at Lockdown yet hammered for the non-televised comments at Impact? Were the people that were deeply hurt and offended over the remarks at Impact equally fair in their criticism for the segment at Lockdown?

I think we can all agree that the use of a racial slur would prompt an outpouring of outrage and protest. It’s banned and not accepted across the board. So should Bully’s remark against women and remark against homosexuals be banned as well? Why one and not the other?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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  • Jason

    I don't know if I am more offended at which "f" word he used. Fag or the other one. Either way, he went way overboard here and I think some sort of punishment should be used here. I don't think stripping the title should be done, but at least some sort of fine with a donation to an equal rights group should be in order. Also, it amazes me that equal rights groups are not all over TNA for this incident the way they were the WWE when CM Punk called a fan a "homo" in 2011 at an event in Australia. I understand that GLAAD works with WWE, but that shouldn't make a difference here.

  • cedric taylor

    I might have a really offbeat atttitude about things but here’s how I see it. As a black man, I hate to hear other blacks say that they don’t feel accepted by society. That being said, when it comes to race, sex, religion, or sexual orientations, we need to stop being childish about things. What do I mean? We are too sensitive. The LGBT community are a part of this problem. They are accepted. When you truly become accepted in society, you are subject to ridicule, satire, folly, and even parody. I see that a lot these days. They just want to be accepted without harm. Name one group of people or human being that can live life without being spoken about negatively? Not even The Pope or President. So why bother? When it comes to marraige ( a holy union instituted by God) who are the LGBT community to try and change that? Why don’t we all just rewrite the bible according the our needs and see what God thinks of that? That’s what you and every same sex marraige advocate are saying.

    ,

    I am not homophobic. I am friends with plenty of gay people. However, I’m quite the fornicator in this world. I accept the fact that I am. I don’t expect to change the bible or expect people within the church to uphold my lifestyle. Its one thing to be accepted by society and I am an advocate for gay rights. But on the other hand, no person living should be trying to change the word of God.

    From a personal point of view, what Bully said was highly offensive and something should be done. No exceptions. Character or not, we shouldn’t stand for that kind of bullying.

    But like said, same sex marraige is just unacceptable in the eyes of our Creator.

    • Richard Gray

      I categorically reject the notion that by accepting same-sex marriage, the Bible is being re-written. This isn't the first time the Bible has been cited as the reason to oppose a social movement. Similar arguments throughout history have included opposition to Abolitionism in the name of God as well as refusing to treat women as equals. Let's not forget what happened with Galileo Galilei.

      I'm a Christian and I think denying someone equal civil rights is the antithesis of the message Jesus Christ came to deliver. If churches want to reject performing these type of unions, that's their business, but it's time this is overturned in all 50 states. The USA should act as a model to the rest of the world in treating people with tolerance and respect.

      • RWeaver

        I know this is not a discussion on the bible or church or anything of the like. However, God categorically rejects the notion you have about same sex marriage. It's not just "citing the bible", it simply cannot be challenged what God says. Sure you can disagree with what He says, but God created marriage and we do not have the authority or the right to change an institution God has made. I say live and let live, but can't we just leave marriage out of the equation??? The Lord will deal with each of us when we see Him face-to-face (and believe me we ALL will). Then many will know that He does not change. Not then, not now, not ever…

        • Richard Gray

          This is completely off-topic but hey, it's spirited debate so why not?

          You're basing "what God thinks" on a couple verses in the book of Romans. This book was written to a group in Rome that was worshipping an idol god through sex acts. Whether or not you believe that is your prerogative, however, trying to take the Bible literally is impossible.

          First, even the most staunch evangelical will disqualify the Hebrew scriptures because of Jewish law. So you're talking about Matthew through Revelation or the New Testament. These writings have been compiled, translated and canonized. So there's already been significant human process before it ever comes into your hands.

          Next, depending on how conservative or liberal your pastor, you're likely to be taught how they believe. Just compare a preacher like Joel Osteen to "End Times" teacher Jack Van Impe. You may prefer someone like Rick Warren or Mark Driscoll. All of these pastors have preconceived beliefs that are bound to end up in their teachings.

          So before you tell me "what God says," consider where you are getting your information from. The Bible is important but it should be kept in its proper context. You can string together a group of scripture to support or denounce any cause you want. Have you ever heard of the Westboro Baptist Church?

          The church continues to get itself in trouble by attempting to take the Bible literally. It can't be done and discriminating against homosexuals is no better than discriminating against people because of gender or skin color. It's time the church admit they are wrong and evolve with the rest of society. Otherwise, it will dwindle into irrelevance.

          BTW your god sounds mean and scary.

          • RWeaver

            You have an extremely high lack of understanding of what God's word is all about nad what it truly does say. Totally possible to take the bible literally, and it has been preserved (as God promised it would be). So yes, penned by man, but inspired and preserved by God. I could go on and on and quote scripture to backup everything here, but suffice it to say, women was made for man, period. We are different and have a different purpose. God said it, I believe it, and that is that… I'll be praying for you my friend.

          • Richard Gray

            If you took every scripture literally you would be dead or in jail. Even if you tried only the NT, you would be viewed as a sexist elitist animal. You can't take something written 2000 years ago and copy and paste it into today. Things have changed, people have evolved. That doesn't mean we just forgot these sacred texts but they must be held in their proper context. Failing to do so results in the issues I've astutely discussed here. Opposition to Abolitionism, Galileo, the treatment/condemnation of women and the unjust treatment of homosexuals.

            At the very least I implore you to go back and study each of these issues. Pro-slavery literature is extremely hard to find (the material I read was in A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren) but if you read the way people used the Bible back then, you will find it eerily familiar to your mentality of "God said it, I believe it." The people that opposed Abolitionism had more ammunition in terms of scripture than people that oppose same-sex marriage. Scriptures in both the OT and NT.

            Does denying people their marital rights glorify God? I think it does the exact opposite. Just because you oppose it doesn't mean people are going to 1) stop being gay or 2) no longer have same-sex relationships/relations. What it does do is deny them the same rights as you or I have and that is not loving your neighbor as yourself. That's loving your neighbor as long as they assimilate to the life you live.

          • LeftyTosser

            Richard, the legal aspect of marriage is strictly a government affair. It has nothing to do with biblical teachings. Sorry to disagree, but the Bible is a book that starts in Genesis and ends with Revelations. It is not just a few passages and books here or there. God's teachings, whether we believe them or not, are God's words. The Bible teaches that same sex couples of any creature are wrong. Sin is sin and no matter how "times have changed", it is still a sin. With that being said, no sin is worse than any other in God's eyes. Whether that be murder or lust, they are ALL sins.
            Whether the government gives people the right to same sex marriage really doesn't matter. It is not something that God allows and He is the one that we will ultimately answer to.

            Getting back to the actual topic of your post, in my humble opinion it is time for folks to get off the politically correct bandwagon and get on with their lives. A bum will always be a bum, no matter what they are called. Calling someone a fag is really no different than calling someone a redneck or a whore or yankee or whatever. Unless Bully Ray walked up to the person and asked his sexual preference, then the term had no real meaning. Is it something I would say? No, but I'm not in character trying to get heat either.

          • Richard Gray

            Go read through Deuteronomy and Leviticus and you'll see why "what the Bible says is sin" is an inaccurate statement. The law set forth in the Hebrew scriptures (the OT) would send someone to prison today.

          • Nathen

            Richard, as an agnostic who loathes religion, I must say I am impressed by your understanding of what the bible is and isn't. I don't run into many believers who take such a rational approach to the bible. You are spot on when you point out other old laws that are ignored. Gay is wrong but it's OK to eat a bacon cheeseburger or shrimp cocktail because those laws were many only for the Jews. It is an inconsistent philosophy that preserves hate mongering. I don't know if god exists or not but if it does, I doubt it cares about a human's sex life.

            This conversation though shouldn't be about religion. The US is a secular nation so our laws and institutions should be secular. Marriage in the US is secular and created by some old men with a few strokes of pen. RWeaver's opinion, or mine for that matter, doesn't matter. Equal rights for all or for none.

          • Richard Gray

            Thanks Nathen. I completely understand your view towards religion and don't blame you one bit. And I agree the conversation of same-sex marriage is a US civil rights issue, not a religious one. One of the reasons I've spent so much time here is to explain to the people who oppose it [in the name of God or the Bible] just how silly and contradictory their claim is. I'm extremely bothered by finite humans who claim to know exactly what God is thinking.

          • Chase

            Richard,

            I too must commend you of your knowledge of the bible and what it says, especially since you are admitting you are christian. I am a non-theist myself, which means that I do not follow anything, not even atheism. My point is, and especially in the south/bible belt, a lot of people who say they are Christians don't even know what the bible says.

            Right now, I'm taking a course at my university called "Bible as Literature". What we do in the course is read the bible as a literary work instead of a book of god. In some schools, it's taught along with the likes of EN 231 and 232, but at ours this is an actual 400 level class, which means basically that our professor wants to know whether or not we actually understand what we're reading, instead of us just doing assignments.

            In that class we have: 3 Church of Christ students, 1 Methodist student, a Baptist preacher, a blind Jewish woman, and a guy from Saudi Arabia. The other people in the class are atheist.agnostic, or non-theist like my fiance and myself.

            Point is – we can never finish class because of 2 reasons. The preacher refuses to leave his faith at the door and has horrible rhetoric when it comes time for him to give the reasoning for his beliefs, which we actually shouldn't even be talking about. The other reason we can't finish is because the people LITERALLY SAY THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, or completely misquote it. These are people in their 20's who have went to church their whole lives, tout around the town how BIG of a christian they are, and condemn others for every little thing they do.

            Most of the people commenting here remind me of the people in my class. They're ignorant. Ignorant to the fact that other people with different beliefs exist. SO WHAT if 2 guys or girls want to get married, its their business.

            And for all the people who say marriage is a holy union, its not. Up until the 1800's, "Christian" marriage as we know it today did not exist like we know it. Most people had heavily Pagan filled ceremonies. If anything, "marriage" is an infringement upon what they were initially called, which were civil unions. I think we should go back to calling them that for tax purposes and all that. Then, if you're christian, stop crying and just call yours a marriage.

            I have no idea why people want to take rights away from others.

          • Richard Gray

            I would love to be in this class. The Bible is a great literary work but when one gets into trying to take it literally as the inerrant and infallible "word of God," it becomes very problematic if not downright dangerous. Being a Christian doesn't mean checking your brain at the door and I find it completely acceptable to believe in Jesus Christ yet recognize the Bible for what it is.

            As a post-modern emergent believer, I actually find myself more in agreement with agnostics, atheists and non-theists such as yourself. The problems you all have with the God of the Bible is the same problems I have.

            Great stuff, thanks for the compliment and thanks for insight! If you ever have anything of interest from the class you want to share with me, feel free to email at richard@grayinternet.com. I love this type of stuff!

      • Wrecklesdischarge

        Richard as a fellow Christian I agree with you. I see gay marriage as a government benefit issue. All people should be treated equally under the government and recieve equal benefits. Churches can decided who they marry, and we can have our opinions but all people should be treated with respect. But on the Bully Ray issue I seen him as an actor playing a part.

        • Wrecklesdischarge

          Richard to ammend my comments while I agree with the heart of your comments. I do disagree that the new testament endorses slavery ( it does mention a centurions slavery but I dont seen thst as an endorsement) certainly not in any of Jesus teachings.

          • Richard Gray

            I didn't say it endorsed it. I said people used the Bible to defend it… However, Paul didn't condemn slavery in his writings in the book of Ephesians.

    • GODSENT68

      THANK YOU!!! Everyone else in society gets made fun of but somehow you are above it??? I think to truly have equal rights we SHOULD be able to make fun of everyone lol

  • Mark Freeman

    This may not be popular but here's my opinion. Im also never going to accept homophobia/Racism or anything of the sort, how ever I don;t think Bully should be a saying sorry. Yes the assault at the fan wasn't scripted but was in character. Yes reading the transcript he did go too far but he is that sort of heel he is. The speech to Brooke was most likely scripted, and again it fits the character.Its what is expected of him. Imagine watching a T.V show, something like prison break would there be up roar if the main bad guy in the prison made those comments, or if they had an unscripted ( in character )meet and greet and he said things like what Bully did , would people be calling for the actor to be sacked, I doubt it. There is no place for that talk in this day and age, but people are like that still and Bully is playing that kind of role. So while I don't like what Bully said to the fan and I like that Dixie apologised, Bully shouldn't of done. His character should never say sorry for anything. I'm not saying Mark LoMonaco shouldn't seek out the fan on a personal level because I think he should, but the public apology should come from TNA only.

  • Rodney

    I’m offended that so many people were offended. Political correctness has turned the majority of people into sensative little bitches. Was what he said nice? Perhaps not. But everyone needs to chill out

  • wrestlingscoops2323

    bully ray went way to far and needs to be strip of tna title asap but its tna so they probally won't do anything to bully ray at all because tna does not punish guys who iget in trouble at all

  • Wrecklesdischarge

    He is playing a character. So if he cant says this than lets eliminate freedom of speech from all art and wntertainment. No longer shoukd actors who are playing a part use derogaory terms like the b or f word. And certainly not musiocans especially rappers. This is ridiculous. As iwc atent we smart enough to know reality from fiction and entertainment. Movies often feature rhis language no ones accuses the actor who says the lines of being sexist rascist or homophibic. I expect this over reaction from out of touch media types not the iwc.For the record im not condoning acting this way in. reality but this was basically just a play.

  • HomieClown

    Can we get over this PC BS already? Seriously … it's retarded.

  • Harrison

    It really doesn’t matter what the public eye thinks of any type of “slur” being hurled at any person. I believe the only time an issue should arise out of a situation like this is when the person being verbally abused is affected by the attackers actions. This gentlemen bought tickets to a wrestling event. Why? To be fucking entertained! If a wrestler bashed me I’d be thrilled! So if the victim of the verbal abuse was hurt by these comments, then I say blow up the situation, but if not then just take it for what it was worth, a entertainer portraying a character!

  • Matt

    You have to look at this for what it is. It’s a wrestling storyline. He’s in character. I see no reason for people to get up in arms about the comments made.

    • EricDraven86

      I am in 100% agreement here. Had he blurted that to someone in a store, maybe I could understand the backlash. This is entertainment first and foremost, not "real life". Let's not lose our perspective during this P.C. crusade.

  • Evon Reese

    Of course he went to far since it wasn't Punk that said it

  • Wrecklesdischarge

    One distinction between this and the Punk incident is that Punk was a face Bully was a heel. So Punk wasnt even in. character or certainly not acting like a face much less the face of the WWE. And he was in.the middle of a monumental title reign. For the record im a fan of both men and dont think any more than an apology if that is required from either.

  • betysteve

    punk difused the situation immediatly when he showed the person he called a homo that he only did it to "hook him and reel him in", (he made those motions to the fan), he even said "that's what l do", that incident and explination alone is what drew him to my attention, as prior to that l just saw some goober brought in to replace barret in nexus

    • Wrecklesdischarge

      The hook him and reel him in thing is a lame copout an excuse to say tasteless things then blame them person you said it to for falling for it’s its like Nash bashing people then when he gets called on it calling them people marks for listening to him. I like Punk but he said what he said just like Bully but at least Bullys comments fits his character. Punk was a face trying to be them face of the wwe. Im not a fan of Cenas character but he would have never gotten in. that situation and gotten them company that negative coverage

  • Simon

    Honestly if this was said in a book, a movie or a video game or any other form of media in relation to a story then it would just be seen as building up that character as an ass hole. Building him up as such is done so you as fans want to see him get taken down.

    If this were any other media there would be no problem. So my question is this, why the hell do people take wrestling (entertainment) “characters” as real people and assume it is immediately the actual thoughts of said person? Political correctness has destroyed the foundations of society and unless it’s dropped I don’t see any change.

    I personally have no problem with Bully’s comments and neither does my gay mate who I posted the videos to, it’s seen as a character, he doesn’t like it but isn’t offended as it’s just television created to incite a reaction from its viewers.

  • Will

    I met Bully Ray!!! He's an asshole in real life!!!!

    • Simon

      did he happen to be a heel at the time? I've met him a few times as a face back in WWF/E and he was absolutely awesome, great guy to talk to and took the time to chat and sign autographs, take photos etc…

  • jblack

    Hear is my opinion. Why a lot of ppl loved attitude era was the lines he crossed. If this generation was greedy(ppl watch more so cause of lawsuits) which makes it soft. Someone said if he said the n word is that ok. For one if Devon and others wouldn’t mind it sure. This is how wrestlers got over with cheap heat. Bully says that and if gay wrestling fans choose to watch and hate him, then mission accomplished. I don’t think its something you do outside of the ring but in that arena expect heels to talk smack. They are paid to be hated. I dont care how low. They are athletic actors who performa physical job. I have no problem with punk getting on bearer or Lawler. If they are fine with it who am I. I understand its to a fan but I’m sure fan said way worse to him. I have no problem with this. I know a couple gay guys and they call each other gay all the time. Same for n word. It’s actually slang. Just don’t actually do it in real life . Inside arenas are shows not real life to me.

  • SillyWabbit

    Well he is a heel and heels are to do what it takes to get under the skin of people, mostly the audience. Maybe it was because he was given as much leeway as he has been given recently is the reason for his character to be more in your face then usual. I'm not saying this an an excuse for language but people have to understand, there's a thin line between his character and who he is when he's outside of the ring. Both him and Devon went way further with remarks they made during their ECW days and even though this isn't a small arena that may hold less than 3,000 fans, it's no different from those days and no one should take it literally. If anyone should be at fault it's TNA for not telling him what he should and should not say. This is the main problem that seperates WWE and TNA. Besides it wouldn't be a big deal if others didn't make it so. There are far worst problems that TNA does not want anyone to know because they give this illusion that they are a family friendly company which is far from the truth. This may be one of those incidents that show the their process of thinking when no one is looking but of course it's a matter of opinion no matter what you hear or read. I know they'd rather pay people who don't contribute to helping them get better as a company then to help those that help build them and even keep them from having 40-60 year olds running the place which is pretty much what's going on now. Brooke couldn't cut it in the music industry to daddy brings her in to show how slutty she can dress with her terrible acting on top of that. All the while the ones that deserve to be recognized have to take a back seat to bs like this. Matt Morgan is a prime example of this and although some of what he says may be scripted I know damn well that most of it is true. It's rather sad. If TNA doesn't want to look hypocritical then simply stop being it. Dixie is to stupid to realize that everything she is doing is only losing more money rather than turning a profit and one day her backers are going to realize this and they'll be another memory and all because of ignorance.

  • GODSENT68

    I’m tired of this politically correct my feelings are hurt society we live in now. It’s like we have freedom of speech so long as nobody has their feelings hurt. I myself am of minority and when they attack my group I just laugh at their ignorance. Funny nobody gets mad when it’s white people, ie: rednecks, trailer trash, inbred and other shots at white people, but when it’s anyone else people want to get up in arms??? That is the hypocrisy. Look IF you’re offended then don’t watch

  • http://WWENews.net Van Hammer

    I cant believe the arrogance here. It doesnt matter if there arent any gay folks watching. Saying something is gay when you dont like it is not only ignorant, but it shows bad business.

    Suppose Bully said something is "wounded warrior". I dont like Erik Young in the main event, that equals dead soldier. Are you offended now? You wouldnt say oh that Bully Ray is just being a heel. Taking something very real and making it kayfabe is a skill that a CM Punk or Chris Jericho could navigate,but as great as Bully has improved, he is not at that level.

  • Big Dick Dudley

    Lighten up, Francis…

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  • Rupert

    Does this article come with a complimentary tampon, you Nancy-boy?