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WWE initiates zero-tolerance policy on domestic abuse

The world's largest pro wrestling company takes a stand.

Michael N. Todaro

WWE recently released an update to their Wellness Policy, taking a hardline stance on domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. The pertinent wording of the Wellness Policy update:

"WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated.

WWE's ability to fine, suspend or terminate a WWE talent will not be, however, limited or compromised in any manner in the event incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct is presented to WWE. Section 9.13(a) of the WWE booking contract, commonly known as the "morals clause", provides WWE with broad discretion and authority to act under such circumstances."

It is worth noting that WWE performers do not have a union, nor do any other professional wrestling promotions. This has been a sore sport with performers for decades, with Jesse Ventura attempting to establish a union in 1984 in the then-WWF, which was quickly squashed. In recent years, former WWE and ECW wrestler Raven was part of a class action lawsuit that attempted to force the promotion to classify their wrestlers as employees, rather than "independent contractors."

As a result, the WWE has free rein in this instance to make a unilateral, hardline domestic abuse policy that will result in instant termination, because there's no union to push back on any punishment that will come down. Regardless, WWE's actions make them appear to be light-years ahead of every other professional sports league at a time when domestic abuse is a hot-button issue.