Sports Illustrated is featuring an article looking at the media backlash to WWE moving forward with holding the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on November 2.
The article notes that multiple members of WWE’s active roster, “speaking on the condition of anonymity”, have expressed discomfort performing at the show.
These comments come just shortly after a report by CNN claimed the Saudis were preparing a report acknowledging the disappearance and death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, describing it as an interrogation that “went wrong.”
While the actual story by Sports Illustrated doesn’t feature any direct quotes from WWE talent, it does highlight some recent business entities who have decided to pull out of Saudi Arabia, including Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
Endeavor Content is set to pull out of its $400 million deal with Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s disappearance, while executives from Uber, J.P. Morgan Chase and Ford have stated they will no longer be attending the Future Investment Initiative conference.
Despite the media backlash in recent days, including a profile by HBO’s “Last Week Tonight”, WWE made it clear on Monday night that they are pushing forward with the event. While just yesterday any reference to Saudi Arabia was removed on WWE.com, the official schedule is back to listing the country. Our own Mike Tedesco was quick to note that any advertising for the event on RAW last night made zero reference to Saudi Arabia.