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WWE issued an official apology Tuesday after a personality made an off-color remark during Monday’s Raw broadcast referencing NBA player Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case in 2003 and 2004.
As Titus O’Neil tangled with Kofi Kingston in a singles match, A.W., who wearing a live mic, yelled from ringside, “Titus O’Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado hotel room. He’s unstoppable!!”
In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault after having sex with a hotel employee in Colorado. In September 2004, prosecutors dropped the case after his accuser refused to testify. A civil suit was later filed and settled out of court.
A WWE spokesman issued a statement to TMZ.com stating, “A.W. made an inappropriate comment and WWE immediately apologized. WWE has taken appropriate action in the matter.”
WWE sources tell TMZ that A.W. “felt horrible” after making the remark and claimed he simply “got caught up in the moment.” He also realizes the remark to could be hurtful to rape victims and their families.
A.W. immediately apologized to company brass, including the McMahon family, and several wrestlers and has also vowed to refrain from making similar remarks in the future.
In the coming days, you can expect numerous media outlets to pick this story up as well as the fire before RAW. Expect tons of negative backlash for the rape story. It’s very possible we’ll see a suspension issued for A.W. later today. We’ll keep you posted.