All Elite Wrestling has suspended Sammy Guevara without pay after his previous explicit comment about Sasha Banks resurfaced.
Guevara made the remark on the Raw’s 4th Hour podcast in 2016, where he joked that he wanted to "go rape" Banks when he saw her at a WWE tryout. The ill-advised joke started trending on social media Monday morning after the "#SpeakingOut" hashtag has revealed abhorrent allegations of sexual and physical abuse within pro wrestling over the last few days.
AEW released a statement in response to Guevara's comment and to announce his suspension.
"AEW insists on doing our part to create a world of understanding and respect for humankind. We therefore strongly condemn the extremely offensive and hurtful words of Sammy Guevara," AEW said in the statement. "Sammy has agreed to undergo extensive sensitivity training and, upon completion, his future status within the company will be evaluated."
During his suspension, Guevara's salary will be donated to the Women's Center of Jacksonville.
Guevara issued an apology to Banks on social media Monday afternoon.
"I've made stupid, inappropriate and extremely offensive comments in my past. In my idiotic mind, I thought I was being funny in using words and terms that represent nothing but horror and pain. I am truly sorry for my hurtful words and actions, and I will never forgive myself," he said.
"I also want to apologize to [Sasha Banks] for my unacceptable comments. She's an amazing person who didn't deserve to be the brunt of my offensive remarks. I spoke with her earlier & she helped me learn a gigantic lesson & I thank her for that. Once again, I'm sincerely sorry."
Banks also released a statement and shared that she had an "open discussion" with Guevara when he apologized to her.
"Words like the comments he made, jokingly or not, have absolutely no place in our society!" she said. "We have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and the words we say, and I hope this situation shows [Guevara] that. I hope from this point on, in order for growth and change within our community to take place, we all can continue to have these conversations."
Professional wrestling is facing a reckoning as abuse allegations have been leveled against those in the industry in recent days. On Friday, WWE announced the release of Jack Gallagher (Jack Claffey) following allegations of sexual abuse. David Lagana resigned from his position as NWA's Vice President the same day after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.
AEW also announced that wrestler James Mcahren, known on-screen as Jimmy Havoc, will receive treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. Mcahren was also accused of sexual and mental abuse, and AEW said his status with the company will be readdressed when he gets out of rehab.
WWE released a statement Friday regarding the recent allegations against their talent.
"Individuals are responsible for their own personal actions. WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault."