Impact Wrestling star Konnan recently spoke with RealSport101.com, and below are some interview highlights:
RealSport: As a military veteran, what’s your take on NFL players kneeling for the anthem and President Trump’s subsequent comments about their protest?
Konnan: I was in the military for almost seven years and I went to the Iran/Iraq conflict, I went to the Lebanese conflict and I was on the United States Navy boxing team. I can’t believe the way [President Trump] has been able to switch the narrative. This is nothing about disrespecting the flag. This is not about disrespecting the national anthem or the guys that served in the military. This is just pointing out that there’s a problem with racial relations in the United States and police brutality. There are certain sections that don’t want to deal with it or talk about it so there’s protest. Our nation was built on protest from the Revolutionary War where we were mad at King George for hitting the United States with taxes. We’ve always been about rebellion – whether it was the Boston Tea Party or the Civil War or the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King.
Trump is trying to switch the narrative and the problem with Trump is that a lot of his followers listen to everything he says. Trump has been able to convince them that all the media does is bulls**t about him. There is liberal media here that doesn’t like Trump and it’s very obvious, but everything that he’s done, from bringing in Steve Bannon to the White House, who was with the Alt-Right, Flynn having connections and lying about it with the Russians, him insulting Mexicans, not going to Puerto Rico during the disaster and dedicating them a false trophy and all the s**t he’s done… I’m not a Democrat or a Republican, just so you know, I just think that he’s an embarrassment and he’s a joke. He’s been able to deflect a real issue, race relations and police brutality, which continues to be a problem in this country. It has nothing to do with the flag.
RS: The company has been going through a bit of an identity crisis recently. Do you think that it hurts viewership and damages the reputation of the company?
Konnan: I think it just hurts the image and the image of TNA has always been disorganised. When you that your TV is GFW, then IMPACT, then it’s just ‘what’s going on?’ I really believe that Ed Nordholm, who’s the head there, is doing his best because I’ve spoken with him on many occasions. He’s a very forthright person, unlike the other people that used to work there before that were not forthright. He’s really trying to look at a way to make money, how to not be wasting money, how to be resourceful. He’s looking at why we’re still in Orlando ‘cos it’s usually the tourists that are there and some of the local fans, right? But in Canada, people are gonna be buying tickets so there’s a way to monetise. The Global Network is another way to monetise. He’s looking for ways to monetise the product, be sleek, streamline everything, cut off all the fat that we don’t need and try and make this a profitable company. I gotta give him a chance. I just got there and he’s on the right path. I like the creative and I wanna see what Sonjay [Dutt], Big John [Gaburkick], [Scott] D’Amore and Jeremy [Borash] can come up with without Jeff [Jarrett] being there. I wanna see what they do on their own. That’s cool too. I’m sure Jeff had his ideas and they have their ideas. Well, let’s see. But yeah, all this changing around doesn’t do anything for their image, I don’t think it affects viewership at all, but I think for their image they need to say ‘Okay, this is what we’re calling it and that’s that.’ I’m not even sure… I think it’s IMPACT, right? Nobody knows what’s going on, so that’s not good. I do know that Ed is working hard to turn the company around, and the perception, and that’s something that makes me happy because the perception for many years has not been good.