Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Coronavirus Update 4-15-2020: Declaring professional wrestling an essential business demeans the sacrifices all essential workers are making

Have you taken the “Florida Man challenge”? It’s a hoot. You type “Florida man” along with your birthdate to discover the head-scratching things Floridians have done on that date.

For example, “Florida Man February 13” (my birthday) yields this gem: Florida Man Carrying Steroids and Marijuana Crashes Van While Attempting to Flee Cumby PD.

And if you take the challenge for today, winner winner chicken dinner: Florida Man High on Flakka Has Sex with Tree and Calls Himself Thor.

It should therefore not come as any surprise to learn the state from which this headline originated: DeSantis Deems Pro Wrestling “Essential Business” Amid Statewide Stay-at-Home Order.

That’s right. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has declared the WWE “essential” and is permitting it to continue taping and airing live from its empty Performance Center near Orlando. According to Governor DeSantis, pro wrestling is on par with grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals. To be fair, he is the same governor who is also allowing mass gatherings for church and other religious services. (Not that I’m equating the WWE with going to church, although some Florida men might disagree.) And while I’m trying not to politicize the current national emergency, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Linda McMahon, wife of WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, is the chairwoman of America First Action, a pro-Trump Super PAC.

We are all struggling. As John Oliver aptly noted on his show this past Sunday night, workers are literally risking their lives to earn a paycheck while continuing to go to work for essential businesses. When a governor declares Hulk Hogan essential (yes, I know I’m dating myself) he belittles the important work that all of the real essential workers are performing daily.

So today, I’m saying thank you. Thank you to all who have worked and are continuing to work to staff our hospitals and medical centers, grocery stores, utilities, internet providers, delivery services, critical manufacturing (especially those that are making medical supplies, equipment, and devices, medicines, and PPE), and all other essential businesses. You are all the heroes of this crisis. The wrestlers of the WWE, not so much.

* Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay