Rick Steiner Accused of Transphobic Harassment by Wrestler Gisele Shaw
WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner has been banned from WrestleCon after allegations made by Impact Wrestling star Gisele Shaw on Friday at the 2023 event in Los Angeles. Shaw, who is transgender and came out publicly at Pride Toronto in 2022 at age 33, claims Steiner yelled derogatory comments at her in a lengthy social media post.
"I have been bullied all my life and have never stood up for myself because I'm scared that I would get beat up physically, mentally, or emotionally. The bullies in my life have always silenced me, but that ends today! I was at an autograph signing today at Wrestlecon and while I was walking to my table, I hear someone yelling 'you're a man,' 'you're a dude,' 'you're a piece of trash,' 'You are filth,' 'get the f-k away from here,'" Shaw writes in her statement. "It didn't sit well with me and I wanted to know who was saying that because it's unacceptable, so I decided to take a walk in that area and I hear that same person saying the same derogatory comments. I looked at the person and it was Rick Steiner saying those statements. I was shocked and could not believe that this was even happening. To have someone saying those comments who a lot of people look up to and consider their hero was quite shocking and disheartening."
Shaw continued by detailing how she confronted Steiner about the comments and he went on with the "hateful phrases" while yelling at her publicly. This is disappointing enough, but Shaw goes on to point out another "disappointing" aspect of the encounter.
"Another disappointing part about this whole thing was that there were other wrestling legends who just sat there, turned their heads away, did not want to get involved, or stand up for what's right because it involved "one of the boys," the statement continued. "Judging from that experience, it was more important for them to watch something wrong go down as [opposed] to standing up for someone who's being bullied and doing what's right."
WrestleCon regrets the events that took place at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw. We aim to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community. The issue has been addressed and we hope the remainder of the convention…— WrestleCon – LA March 30-April 2 2023 (@wrestlecon) April 1, 2023
Shaw closed out by noting they wanted to speak out due to it being Trans Day of Visibility, and noting that she's done "being bullied to silence." "I want everyone to know what kind of a deplorable person Rick Steiner is and that this cannot be tolerated. This keeps happening because people let it slide and do not take any action. If you do business with these [types] of people then I will not do business with you," she added.
WrestleCon responded to the statement with an apology tweet, with outlets later confirming that Steiner has been banned from all events. Impact Wrestling also released a statement, praising talent for their handling of the situation and their "utmost professionalism."0comments