Over the last few days, a handful of tweets have made the rounds, which have gathered a significant amount of attention. I would like to specifically address two of those tweets today.

The first tweet references football commentator Phil Simms, and contains the N-word. 

During the course of a 2014 conversation discussing the controversial Washington R*dskins NFL team name, I made a point that Phil Simms and others in the NFL simply ignoring and refusing to say the name was not a good enough solution. I used the N-word as an example of another slur where SURELY the league would not get away with using a slur as a team name by simply having commentators and others ignore the word. Obviously in hindsight, I shouldn’t have spelled out the word in full. At that time, some eight years ago, I did not realize spelling the word was an issue, since I was using the word to make a salient point. That was a mistake. I typed it, I own it, I have owned it every time it has emerged, and I apologize to everyone who had to see it. I’m sorry.

The second tweet contained a gay slur, the F-word.

That tweet, containing the F-slur, is actually a QUOTE TWEET. The quote tweet function did not exist on Twitter at that time (June 18, 2013), so as many of you may recall, common practice was to copy/paste the tweet you wanted to quote. Those words are not mine. I was quoting a tweet of the person I was arguing with, to show the rest of the people involved in the conversation the type of person we were dealing with. In what would be obvious to anyone who knows me or listens to my show,  I am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan, so it would make no sense to say or endorse what was said about the players in that tweet, which included calling Joey Votto a homophobic slur. The original tweet by the original author, which I will not screenshot here, can still be found on Twitter.

This is not an attempt to “fight back” or pass blame, this is an explanation of context to the people who feel like I betrayed them. It’s up to them to do what they want to do regarding that context, as well as a handful of other tweets which included an assortment of shitposts, out of context sarcasm, stream of consciousness thoughts which come across looking poor in hindsight on other topics including Ferguson, and a few others I’d like to have back with the benefit of 8-10 years of life experience.

These tweets emerge a couple of times per year and were not some deeply guarded secret. When the tweets first made rounds in 2018, I left my account open and encouraged people to search for everything they could find. I would like to think that over the last decade, my thousands of hours of audio, tens of thousands of written words, and tens of thousands of tweets across multiple accounts would speak louder than a handful of tweets, particularly when given the context of the two that contained a slur. 

What pains me is how this affects the writers and contributors at Voices of Wrestling. They are good people and have nothing to do with this. They are beyond supportive, and have continually eaten this plate of shit, which is of no doing of their own, for too long. In what may qualify as an ironic twist, even though they have refused to distance themselves from me, often at their own peril, I am now distancing myself from them.

Effective immediately, I am taking a step back from the website end of Voices of Wrestling, which includes written content, overseeing all written content, and the day to day operations of the Voices of Wrestling website itself, in addition to the @voiceswrestling Twitter account, which I have already removed myself from. This will be my final post on VoicesofWrestling.com, as I now turn my full attention to The Flagship podcast.

I am sorry that people had to see those two slurs, and there is no excuse other than ignorance for typing out the first one. 

-Joe Lanza