AS I SEE IT - 10/02/2001
"...After inquiring about whether or not any WWF wrestlers had been to New York to offer support for the policemen and firefighters, its amazing that, even though the WWF is basically based in New York City (Stamford, CT), none had been by there. Or at least to the places we had been, and with the people we saw and spoke with. Thats disgusting. People ask me why Im not working for the WWF. Well, I think that explains it..." --Bill Goldberg
It didn't take long, did it?....someone in wrestling using the events of September 11th to put themselves over...and more particularly, to trash someone else.
Bob Ryder reported a visit last Saturday by Bill Goldberg and Rob Rechsteiner to "Ground Zero", the New York Pier 94 "Family Center" for family members of the missing and dead from the World Trade Center disaster, and an area Ronald McDonald House last Wednesday. The visit involved autograph signings and donations of Nabisco food products and Beanie Babies for police officers, fire fighters, family members and volunteers around the site of the World Trade Center disaster.
The visit was arranged by Tri-Star Productions, a company that does large scale autograph signings, and by former WCW Magazine editor Ross Forman.
All these things are commendable.
Further, it's great that Bob Ryder reported on it.
As I said last week, the more that it is shown that the wrestling community is helping those victimized by the events of September 11th... that it appears that the wrestling community is helping out far more than many of its critics who claim a monopoly on morality... all the better.
But for Bill Goldberg to take a shot at the WWF was unnecessary and totally disgusting.
It's been reported that WWF New York provided free food, refreshments and shelter for New York emergency workers over several days. Linda McMahon mentioned it in passing when spoken to by reporters. WWFE, Inc. didn't trumpet it around for positive PR value.
Three staffers from WWF New York are missing and presumed dead, at least one of whom was an intern at the World Trade Center. Nothing was mentioned about that fact by Linda McMahon either, except in passing. According to 1wrestling.com's Mike Johnson, their photos and information is posted when you walk into the store of WWF NY.
A number of those that work for WWF Entertainment, Inc. had family members that worked around or who live in the area...all of whom came out safely, except for the unnamed waitperson at WWF New York. But many of the workers were worried about their families...and weren't able to get home to New York due to the problems that followed the grounding of United States air traffic by the FAA and the consequent passenger backup.
Duane Johnson has recently done public service promos airing on TNN and elsewhere as "The Rock" for the Red Cross on behalf of a WWF-Red Cross campaign to donate food, money and supplies.
The WWF also donated 180,000 pounds of clothing for the rescue workers at Ground Zero within the first 48 hours after the tragedy.
But Bill Goldberg had to take a shot at them all.
At a time that all of America is in fear because of the actions of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda...Bill Goldberg had to let loose with his tirade against the WWF.
If Bill Goldberg doesn't want to work for the WWF....fine...it's a free country.
But it would seem that WWFE would be damned if they do and damned if they don't, in the eyes of people like Goldberg.
I have a feeling that if the WWF had sent Kurt Angle to the disaster site, they'd have been accused of trying to sell copies of Angle's new ghost-written autobiography....which they could have very easily done if so inclined, given a previously scheduled autograph session by Angle to promote that very book only days after September 11th. That book-signing and other events at WWF New York were cancelled, understandable and commendable...given the expressed wishes of New York City officials for celebrities and politicians not to visit the site, for fear their presence could get in the way of the rescue efforts.
Lance Storm who has penned some of the most thoughtful comments within wrestling about September 11th, its effect on his family, and the need to avoid stigmatizing Arabs and Muslims as a result of September 11; had stated "I don't see what us going there would accomplish, other than perhaps slowing down clean up efforts..."
But instead of paying attention to those facts... instead of paying attention to what actually happened... instead of paying attention to the fact that New York City officials didn't want to turn the mass grave of thousands into a media circus... Bill Goldberg instead used his "good deed" as a chance to push his grievances with Vince McMahon on his website.
Such a comment casts a very large shadow over what was apparently a good deed that may have given some peace to emergency workers badly in need of it.
Perhaps even as large as Bill Goldberg's ego.
It seems that no matter what, some people within wrestling can't avoid using events to put themselves over.
For readers who would like to help the victims of September 11th, you can do so via the following means:
To give blood, call 1-800 GIVE LIFE or contact your local hospital/health care provider. You can also find the telephone number and location of your local Red Cross chapter by going to this URL or to this URL
You can financially support relief efforts by making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish-speaking).
You can go to any one of the many organizations listed at Helping.org.
You can also go to Amazon.com to make a direct and secure donation via Amazon.com.
You can donate directly to the September 11th Fund, administered by the New York United Way via this URL.
You can donate to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, administered by the International Association of Fire Fighters via this URL.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)