Back in January, someone dug up a lot of old posts from a bodybuilding message board where someone was making some very controversial posts.
These posts included racist and hate-filled comments. While the poster used a generic username, photos included shows that it was future WWE superstar Lars Sullivan.
At the time, both WWE and Sullivan admitted that it was him and Sullivan also pointed out that he was trolling people on the message boards with his comments.
Nothing was done at the time and Sullivan has since become a major WWE superstar. Then, someone on Reddit decided that they needed to try to bring him down and re-released the exact same posts again four months later and this time tagged Big E on Twitter when sharing them.
This time it worked, thanks partially to Big E responding that everyone knows about the old posts.
Many are aware. If true, he has to bear the albatross of being a bigot & working in a company that is now filled with minorities.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) May 8, 2019
Since Lars Sullivan is on the WWE main roster now, it caused it to reach the offices of one of WWE’s top sponsors.
The person who made it their mission to ensure Lars Sullivan was punished for his old comments made sure that Mars Wrigley Confectionery also saw the posts.
Mars responded with an email to the person offended by the decade-old posts.
“We learned of Lars Sullivan’s comments recently and share in your shock and disgust. As a values-based company, we find his behavior abhorrent and unacceptable. We have engaged the WWE to discuss this situation and seek to understand what actions they will take to swiftly address this matter.”
When sponsors get involved, WWE takes matters head-on. Mars is who convinced WWE to rename the Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal at WrestleMania when people brought up allegations from her past.
WWE announced today (via Forbes) that they have fined Lars Sullivan $100,000 for his message board posts from a decade ago and they will make him attend sensitivity training for his offensive comments from that time period as well.
“WWE will also facilitate meetings for Dylan with community organizations to foster further discussion around the power of social media and the impact of your words.”