In a recent interview with Skysports, popular Irish WWE wrestler Finn Bálor reiterated his continued support for the LGBT+ community, saying inclusion should be “close to everyone’s heart”.
The Bray native, who hit the big leagues in US wrestling, said: “I don’t see why we should alienate anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, nationality, religion, ethnicity. It doesn’t matter. We’re all humans, living on this tiny little rock, floating through space at like, thousands of miles an hour. We should all just get along.”
When asked about being an LGBT+ ally, he followed: ”I think it should be close to everyone’s heart, really, to be honest with you.”
Even thought the wrestler identifies as a straight man, his support for the queer community has gone above and beyond mere tokenism. In February of this year, official Finn Bálor merchandise was updated to include a rainbow motif. In a further show of support, 20 percent of all profits from merchandise sales goes directly to GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). Bálor’s reasoning was “Because everyone deserves to be accepted and included.”
When he competed in his first ever Wrestlemania, he made his entrance flanked by members of the New Orleans LGBT+ community – all wearing his rainbow inspired t-shirt.
the balor club is for everyone pic.twitter.com/EvOnQyH9Lg
— WrestlinGifs (@WrestlinGifs) April 8, 2018
There has been the inevitable backlash from fans of the sport, with statements such as “You’re a boy, not a girl, don’t destroy your career” and “Guys like Finn Bálor have ruined WWE”.
Bálor said that friends had warned him about being such a visible ally, saying it could hurt his career, to which he responded: “Well, if that alienates me from a certain group of people, I want to be alienated from those people, because they’re not my type of people, not people that I want to be associated with.”
Bálor Club is for EVERYONE pic.twitter.com/n15YKICbQ1
— Finn Bálor forEVERYone (@FinnBalor) February 23, 2018
For queer fans of WWE, such a public show of support from a respected wrestler is hugely significant and very welcome.
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