This blog reported two days ago that World Wrestling Entertainment told either a soft or hard lie when it maintained to ESPN: “WWE has been asking to see the research and test results in the case of Mr. Benoit for years and has not been supplied with them.”
(See “EXCLUSIVE: Linda McMahon’s WWE Medical Director Met With Chris Benoit Brain Experts in 2008,” http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/exclusive-linda-mcmahons-wwe-medical-director-met-with-chris-benoit-brain-experts-in-2008/.)
Now let’s turn to the first part of the WWE statement: “WWE is unaware of the veracity of any of these tests, be it for Chris Benoit or Andrew Martin….”
Here I come to the charitable conclusion that WWE engaged in cookie-cutter corporate-speak. WWE is “unaware of the veracity” of the test of Andrew Martin’s brain only because it went out of its way to avoid seeing it.
Heaven help the citizens of Connecticut if U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon should prove “unaware of the veracity” of the legislation and business before that body for the same reason.
Mike Benoit, Chris’s father, told me today that as the Brain Injury Research Institute prepared to release the Martin findings to ESPN.com reporter Greg Garber, Benoit contacted WWE with a heads-up and a specific proposal from the institute to meet with Drs. Julian Bailes and Bennet Omalu. (Garrett Webster, the son of the late Pittsburgh Steelers great Mike Webster, is on the staff of the brain institute. Though Benoit is not, he has been an activist on the brain-trauma issue in the wake of his son’s double murder-suicide in June 2007.)
Specifically, Benoit said he called Dean Malenko on October 19. Malenko, a retired wrestler, was one of Chris Benoit’s best friends. Malenko now works in WWE management.
“In our conversation, I asked Dean to talk to Vince McMahon [WWE chairman; Linda’s husband] and tell him about this new development,” Mike Benoit said. “I told him that the doctors wanted to share these findings on another wrestler — I did not name the wrestler — as part of their effort to get WWE to support their research and act on it. Dean promised to deliver the message and call me back. But he never called back.”
Meanwhile, I’ve now left two emails and one voicemail message for Dr. Joseph Maroon, WWE’s medical director, inviting his comments.
Oh, and one more thing: I deeply apologize for implying that Linda McMahon should be associated with any of the sleaze of the company she co-founded with her husband, and for which she served as CEO before resigning to run for the Senate. What was I thinking?
Yesterday, in what I’m sure was a completely spontaneous act, a reader by the name of “Laurel” posted this comment: “What is wrong with you people, WWE is not involved in her Senate Campaign. Why can’t people understand that and leave it out of articles and just read about the wonderful woman she is. I am tired of it.”