Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan asked for forgiveness from his fans on Good Morning America on Monday in the wake of his exile from WWE after he was recorded using a racial slur.
“Oh, my gosh. Please forgive me. Please forgive me,” he said. “I think if you look at the whole picture of who Hulk Hogan is, you can see over all the years that there's not a racist bone in my body.”
Hogan admitted to using the racial slur on a sex tape secretly recorded between 2006 and 2007, which he is suing Gawker Media for $100 million for making public. When the tape's audio was published, the WWE terminated its contract with Hogan and removed him from its website's Hall of Fame.
“I'm not a racist, but I never should have said what I said,” Hogan said. “It was wrong. I'm embarrassed by it. ...People need to realize that you inherit things from your environment, and where I grew up was south Tampa, Port Tampa. It was a really rough neighborhood, very low income, and all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word.”
Hogan told ABC's Amy Robach that he was referring to his daughter Brooke Bollea's boyfriend when he used the slur because he was upset about a situation that had occurred between the two. He said it was during a time when he was “completely broken and destroyed” and felt suicidal. Bollea has been publicly supportive of her father.
“I'm a nice guy,” he said. “It's not, you know, not the Hulk Hogan that rips a shirt off and bang, bang, bang, slams giants, you know? I'm Terry Bollea.”
Hogan called the WWE's actions against him “devastating,” but said he hoped the situation would inspire others not to use racial slurs.
“If everybody at their lowest point was judged on one thing they said...it'd be a sad world,” Hogan said. “People get better every day. People get better.”
- Erin Flynn