Tessa Blanchard Issues Statement on Racism Claims, Wrestlers Respond

It's been a whirlwind week for third generation wrestler Tessa Blanchard.

She became the first woman to win the Impact Wrestling World Championship by defeating Sami Callihan at last Sunday night's PPV, Hard To Kill. However, what happened in the days before created controversy and overshadowed the championship victory.

Blanchard was accused of bullying and racism by several of her fellow wrestlers. Allysin Kay, who formerly worked as Sienna with Impact, accused Blanchard specifically of using a racial slur against Black Rose during a Japan tour in 2017 and spitting in her face. Black Rose backed up the story, as did AEW's Big Swole. WWE's Chelsea Green also responded, noting that she had seen Blanchard bully other performers, including herself.

Blanchard denied all of the accusations but also alluded to them following her championship victory at Hard To Kill by saying on the microphone "nobody is perfect."

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Blanchard then took to Twitter to issue a more formal response. It reads:

“Over the last week I have been accused of calling a fellow wrestler a racial slur. To read this allegation has been personally upsetting. To be clear, I absolutely did not use that word. That word is not in my vocabulary. That word is not in my heart. Racism is not in my heart.

Yet I know many people have to deal with racism in a way I will never have to. Racism is an awful part of American history, and it is equally awful that its still part of our society today. While I did not do what was claimed, I stand ready to use my platform to support the fight against racism however I can.”

Allysin Kay was quick to respond to the apology, noting that there are more witnesses to the 2017 event. She concluded by calling Blanchard a "racist," "liar," and "undeniable scumbag." The tweet was "liked" by WWE's Green.

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