Today, wrestling companies seem to be taking swifter action when an arrest has been made. “We have a zero tolerance policy for domestic abuse. Upon arrest for such misconduct, our superstars are immediately suspended and should there be a conviction, that superstar... would be terminated,” Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer of the WWE told The Washington Post. Under this policy, wrestling legend and active WWE announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler was immediately suspended in June after he and his girlfriend were arrested on domestic violence charges. Charges were later dropped.
At TNA, the policy is not as clearly defined, but they have also indefinitely suspended talent who have been arrested on domestic violence charges.
This all comes on the heels of what happened with the NFL and Ray Rice in 2014 when TMZ released disturbing footage of Mr. Rice punching and knocking out his then-fiancée. The NFL faced criticism for its response. Sports leagues now knew they had to update their policies to avoid negative press.
While Jade was happy that companies were now taking a strong stand against domestic violence, she also expressed disappointment that it took such an extreme incident to prompt the change. “If Ray Rice’s wife would have said something about it without the video, how many people would have said we need to change policies? How many people would have believed her? It took her getting knocked out on TV for society to care and actually believe a survivor.”