Gisele Shaw, a transgender woman who competes for Impact Wrestling, accused WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner of «hate speech» at WrestleCon on Friday.
Shaw made the allegations in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
«I have been bullied my entire life and have never stood up for myself because I am afraid of being hit physically, mentally or emotionally. The bullies in my life have always silenced me, but that ends today!» Shaw said in a statement.
«I was at an autograph signing event today at WrestleCon and as I was walking to my table, I heard someone yell ‘you’re a man,’ you’re a guy, ‘you’re a piece of trash.’ I kept my head down and kept walking because I didn’t want to acknowledge that hate.
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«When I got to my table, I spoke to another IMPACT Wrestling talent who was at the signing with me and I brought up the incident. It didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to know who was saying that because it’s unacceptable, so I decided to take a walk in that area. and I heard a person say the same derogatory comments. I looked at the person and it was Rick Steiner making those statements. I was shocked and couldn’t believe this was happening. For someone to say those comments that many people admire and consider the hero of him was quite shocking and disheartening.
«He was in disbelief, so I asked him, ‘excuse me?’ He kept repeating those hateful phrases and started yelling at me in a public place. It was unforgivable and unacceptable.»
Shaw added that there were two other «wrestling legends» who were sitting there and did not get involved in the confrontation.
«Judging from that experience, it was more important to them to see something bad happen the way it was supposed to (sic) than to stand up for someone who was being harassed and do the right thing.
«I’m not writing this because I want sympathy. I’m writing this because I’m done being bullied into silence. Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility and I’m standing up for myself and other people who go through the exact same thing every single day. .I want everyone to know what a deplorable type of person Rick Steiner is and that this cannot be tolerated. This keeps happening because people let it slide and take no action. If you do business with these types of people, then I don’t (sic ) will do business with you.»
WrestleCon and Impact Wrestling came out to support Shaw.
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«WrestleCon regrets the events that occurred at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw,» the organization tweeted. «Our goal is to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community. The issue has been addressed and we hope the remainder of the convention can be a positive experience for everyone.»
Impact Wrestling added: «IMPACT Wrestling fully supports @GiseleShaw08 and the LGBTQ+ community. We are saddened by the incident on Friday afternoon at Wrestlecon in Los Angeles and hope everyone can learn and be better from it.»
“Thank you to the millions of people around the world who read Gisele’s statement and showed their full support. A special thanks to the Wrestlecon organizing staff, as well as the IMPACT roster and team who handled an unpleasant situation with the utmost professionalism.»
Steiner, whose real name is Robert Rechsteiner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
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Shaw came out as transgender in 2022. He has been a mainstay on the independent wrestling circuit for several years.
Steiner, 62, is known primarily for his career in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the late 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s. He and his brother, Scott Steiner, were seven-time tag team champions. . His team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year.