Last week, LaVar Ball and his clan visited WWE Raw, and all hell broke loose. An unfortunate word was uttered by young LaMelo Ball, and WWE issued an apology because of it. But it appeared the company was taking it all in stride, because The New Day not only referenced the incident the next evening on Smackdown Live, but Big E took the opportunity to pay “homage” to Booker T’s greatest slip of the tongue ever.
You can see Big E’s questionable moment in question beginning at about 1:10 in the below video.
As it turns out, however, at least one person didn’t think the moment was a laughing matter. And that person is Booker T. On his Heated Conversations podcast, Booker, talked at length about how he doesn’t condone the parody, and he doesn’t appreciate it. He considers that old slip-up on the promo to be the biggest screw-up of his life, and doesn’t think the joke ever needed to make it to the air on WWE television last week. (Transcript via WrestlingNews.co.)
“I just want to make it publicly known that I don’t condone that at all, especially coming off of [what happened on] Monday night. We as a people, we gotta know when it’s time to speak up and when it’s time to shut up. My mother taught me that a long time ago. If you don’t know, it’ll come back and haunt you. [The WCW promo blooper] has haunted me for this many years. [ … ] I implore these young people out there to know exactly what they’re doing and how they are affecting our young people that are coming up. That’s the most important thing, as far as I’m concerned. Me personally, I know I’ve made mistakes. That word that I said on national television in front of the world -– I wish I could go back and erase it. I wish that I could take it back. I wish that WWE would never do something like that ever again.
“Me personally, I don’t appreciate it. I don’t know if [WWE] knew that the parody was gonna go down, because I know those guys do a lot of their own stuff. I don’t think that we as a company need to go that route. I think that parody should not have ever been shown on television, because it wasn’t a great moment for us as black people. For us as black people, it was one of our worst moments.
“Just like the [LaMelo] Ball thing. The kid is 15 years old [and] I don’t blame him or anything like that. It was something that slipped out just like myself [in 1997], it was something that slipped out. For me as a person that’s trying to set an example for us as black people and for me to let so many people down -– even the ones that thought it was the cool -– even the ones that thought it was an anthem [ … ] I want them to know that it was my worst day that I could have ever had being a black man, and letting so many of our people down by calling us that word or saying that word in any realm [or] any form was definitely not right by any means. I wish I could take it right back.
“That one blemish is the only thing they have over my head that they could put out there to try to make me look bad in any way shape, form, or fashion. Of course, I could put a spin on it … but does that make it right? No, it doesn’t make it right. It’s still a stain, a blemish, a mark that no surgical procedure could ever repair. So I just want young people to know exactly what they’re saying and when they’re saying it.”
Booker makes a lot of salient points here, and I’m sure the members of the New Day are probably pretty saddened to hear their parody subject felt this strongly in opposition to their segment and choice of joke.