Matthew Adams is Australian, so maybe he just didn’t know that the image he used to celebrate leaving WWE, where he performed as Buddy Murphy, and becoming a free agent was…
…no, he’s a 32-year-old man who’s been in the United States for eight and a half years. There’s no excuse for not knowing better.
He did find out quickly enough, deleting a tweet where he posted an image of hands breaking chains, but it was an image that never should have been tweeted in the first place.
Certainly, WWE does not boast a great work environment. That’s not a new revelation. Getting out of there and moving on to new opportunities has to be exciting for a wrestler who had a brief run of prominence, including a tag team title with Seth Rollins, but never broke through as a big star.
That doesn’t mean it’s anything like slavery.
Not like slavery at all.
Not even a little bit.
Don’t make allusions to slavery.
It doesn’t matter how bad Murphy’s experience was with WWE. He was part of the company by his own choice, with contracts that paid him money, and he was always free to go away, which is what happened when he got his release in June, bringing him officially to free agency now. That is — duh — not in the same discussion as slavery.
There are lots of ways to graphically represent getting out of a bad situation and welcoming the new possibilities of a world that’s open to you. A pair of hands breaking out of shackles is a very specific image with very obvious connotations. Slavery was a centuries-long crime against humanity whose effects rankle American society to this day. Wrestling is a lousy industry that has lots of problems with the way its employees are treated, but it’s still just wrestling. It’s — and this point apparently cannot be made clearly enough — not slavery.
Buddy, this ain’t it.