By: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com An Apology to Matt Hardy
I was wrong.
I've said over the years that if I was wrong about something, I would lead with it. Today, I feel I must admit that I was wrong. Not so much wrong in what I have said, but wrong in saying such things in the first place. Over the past eight months I have become the focal point on this site for the Matt Hardy hate. If there was something nasty that I could have said about Matt, I've said it. I've attacked his personal life, his appearance, his in ring ability and pretty much every other possible character trait that I could spew my venom towards. Just two weeks ago in my Raw Recap I referred to Matt as a "narcissistic gay magic mushroom."
My job description is thankfully vague for the site here on Wrestleview. I have a Recap, column and radio show to maintain, but I'm given almost complete free reign as to what I discuss. I have an editor, but I am tasked to act as my own censor. In the case of Matt Hardy, I've made many comments that quite frankly I should not have made.
I know there are many of you that are reading this who will be disappointed in this column. You've come to love my Hardy-hate, and have looked to me for the latest jab. Even more than the readers, I'm sure my bosses will be rather shocked when they read this column. After a lot of reflection, I feel as though this column has been a long time coming.
Matt Hardy is a real person. Just like I'm a real person, and you're a real person. He eats, drinks, breathes and lives as a human being. It's easy to get caught up in the 'celebrity' of professional wrestling and forget that fact. His struggles are very real. I've been taking the low road for far too long when it comes to discussing Matt. I slip into late night talk show host mode and forget the weight that my words hold within their pungent jabs.
The origin of this apology came when I read a report from Independent Promoter, Ricky O. He issued the following eye opening memo to a wrestling news site:Hey man not sure if you ever got my message about Matt Hardy and the autograph signing I did on 12/12. I did the signing at my Bar that I run. Matt Showed up 1hr and 15 minutes late and then went to the men's room to TAKE A SH** as he put it in front of the 25 people who actually stayed after he was so late.
Within 5 minutes of coming out of the bathroom Matt was out of his mind f***ed up and to the point of spelling kids names wrong on Autos and just being a mess. At one point I had to ask his agent for the day to have him pack up and leave as parents on the line were complaining about his conduct and appearance. He was f***ed up beyond most people I have seen and I have been around for 20 yrs now.
I was wrong.
Look, I don't know Matt Hardy. I've never met him. I have no idea if he is actually suffering from any addiction issues. Gossip is gossip. That being said, I've read far too many reports like this for my own comfort. There is a line that Hardy has crossed which has caused me to feel remorse for my past comments.
I am scared for Matt Hardy.
Jokes about his well being aren't as funny as I once thought. Maybe I was naïve. Maybe I was being a jackass. Maybe I just forgot how many people inside the business read my work. Regardless of why I thought I was being funny and clever, the truth is that I can't do it anymore.
I can't bring myself to joke about Matt Hardy's appearance and state of mind. I don't know Matt, so I can't say with any degree of certainty that he has an addiction problem. I can only draw my own conclusions from the different interviews and appearances he has made in the past year.
This column is not about me, it's about Matt – so I won't go into great detail about my own personal life. But, what I will say is that I recognize the behavior of Matt from experience, and I'm worried.
It makes me sick to think of the fans around the world that have Matt listed on their wrestling "death pools". People who make such lists are scum. In my opinion, Matt doesn't need any more vitriolic attacks, he needs help.
I fear that Matt Hardy is on the verge of becoming just another wrestling statistic. There is no humor to be found in such a fate.
To Matt Hardy I say this – I'm sorry.
I hope that there is a day when Matt can find a true state of mental clarity and happiness. I cannot wait for the day when I can make another joke about Matt Hardy, because that will be the day when I know that he is safe and healthy.
- David Stephens
So 'that's a wrap'.... Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I'm always up for reading your thoughts so send them 'em on over.
Look for the newest edition to the WrestleView Radio Network: "The Teacher's Lounge" featuring Anthony Valvo (From the Desk of Mr. V) and myself this Saturday!
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