Earlier this year, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Andrew Yang threw his hat in the ring for a chance to secure the position as the Democrat nominee for U.S. President. People will remember the outspoken Yang as the man who pledged to give every U.S. citizen a stipend of $1,000 a month as a minimum living wage if elected. While his promise did not garner him enough votes to secure the nomination, it did give him a platform on the national political scene.
Something people did not know about Yang was he spent much of his young life as a fan of the WWE. As such, he has shown an interest in the plight of professional wrestlers, who he believes have been treated unfairly by companies like Vince McMahon’s WWE. In Yang’s mind, at issue is the treatment of WWE talent as independent contractors in violation of the nation’s employment laws. Today, he fully intends to work with the Joe Biden administration on this issue should Biden win the Presidency in the November election.
After several recent tweets calling out the WWE for this possible transgression, Yang followed up in an interview with Wrestling Inc. where he got an opportunity to elaborate on his position regarding this matter. Here are a couple of quotes from the interview as offered by Wrestling Inc. to Robert Defelice with WrestleZone.com.
When asked how he thought McMahon has been able to get away with treating WWE’s talent as independent contractors while still being able to exert complete control over their time and efforts, Yang stated:
“A lot of it, Nick, is that wrestlers are afraid to speak out, and I’ve had wrestlers past and present reach out to me and say that Vince has been getting away with exploitation of wrestlers calling them independent contractors while controlling their activities for years and years. A lot of it is just that they are a quasi-monopoly, and wrestlers fear that if they do try and unionize or organize in any way that Vince doesn’t like, that it will never work again.”
When questioned if he would intervene on this issue if invited to be part of the Joe Biden – Kamala Harris administration, Yang replied:
“I would, and we’re going to get it done. I mean there have been performers that have reached out to me, again both past and present, who have very direct experience and knowledge with how closely the WWE controls and manages performer activities while claiming, on the other hand, that, ‘oh, no, you’re an independent contractor, you’re free agent. You can do whatever you want,’ which really makes no sense on the face of it.”
At a time when sports fans seem more interested in betting on sports or playing an online slot like Goldenslot, it’s issues like this that seem to get forgotten. With that said, the integrity of sports depends on organizations like the WWE following the rules. It will be interesting to see what Yang will do if he gets the opportunity to pursue this issue in earnest.