WWE revealed yesterday that it plans to donate $100,000 to the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation, a charity that helps local police and firefighters in times of need. This gesture was requested by new Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs in return for his upcoming appearances as Kane, which includes being in his kayfabe brother’s corner as the Undertaker faces Triple H at the Super Show-Down in Australia on Oct. 6.
Jacobs spoke to Knoxville’s WBIR TV, saying, “$100,000 is a significant contribution, especially for the family of a fallen police officer or a firefighter that could help them through that transition of losing a loved one.” The Public Safety Foundation also helps families of first responders through non-job-related financial emergencies, helping cover the kinds of catastrophic events that a public sector job in a place like Knoxville doesn’t necessarily ready you for.
“I’m extremely proud that my career with WWE will have a positive impact on the community through my role as Knox County mayor,” Jacobs told WBIR.
Of course, there’s also an undeniable PR benefit for both WWE and Kane. Some people in Knox County may be inclined to resent the mayor traveling the world as a WWE Superstar rather than staying home and doing the job he was elected to do. Bringing a large sum of money back not just to Knox County, but to local police officers and firefighters, puts him in a much better position in the face of such criticism. Still, $100,000 is a lot more money to most people in Knox County than it is to Vince McMahon, so the benefit is real even if the motive might be cynical.
WWE plans to officially present the check at their next live event in Knoxville, which is scheduled for January 2019.