The New Day show Black Lives Matter support during WWE Smackdown.
The civil unrest going on around the United States has touched nearly every aspect of life and entertainment. On this week’s edition of WWE SmackDown, New Day members Big E and Kofi Kingston took a knee in solidarity to the death of George Floyd before their match with Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro.
Even though this was a losing effort for Kingston and Big E, the two tag champions used this opportunity to take a position of support for the cause that has pushed many to protest throughout cities across the country. Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeing on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd would be dead moments later. This situation sparked massive outrage not only in the United States, but other countries across the world took to protesting to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The New Day have frequently been outspoken in matters of racial injustice within professional wrestling, but this is one of the first times they have been so open in their support in matters outside of wrestling. Earlier this week on their podcast, The New Day Podcast, all three members were highly emotional when talking about the toll that this situation has taken on their own personal lives. The WWE also released a statement against police brutality.
“WWE supports an inclusive society and condemns racial injustice. We stand beside our Black performers, employees and fans around the world, and encourage everyone to use their voice to speak out against racism,” WWE posted on Instagram and Twitter on Sunday. “We offer our sincere condolences to the family of George Floyd and the families of countless others who have lost their lives due to senseless violence.”
Many professional wrestling organizations across the industry used this moment as an opportunity to raise awareness to racial injustices along with show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. To see the WWE, allow for such a moment to take place in their ring, on national television is a monumental step within that industry.