Last week Fightful reported that WWE had changed its policy about wearing masks inside of the WWE Performance Center during the coronavirus pandemic after one of its wrestlers personally approached Vince McMahon and was able to change the WWE Chairman's mind. The identity of that wrestler wasn't given at the time, but in a new interview with Sports Illustrated Kevin Owens revealed it was him.
Owens explained that the pandemic hit close to home as his wife's grandfather died from COVID-19 several weeks back.
"A big part of this is my wife lost her grandfather to COVID. We make these decisions together. I don't want anything I do to make my wife uncomfortable when I get back home," Owens said. "I want to make sure that she feels safe and that my children are safe. Every decision I make, I make with her. She saw the efforts the company made, as well, and she said maybe it was time for me to go back to work because it's what I love to do. The company depends on me and there are a lot of fans that look forward to seeing me on TV every week, so we're just trying to juggle everything. The family being safe, of course, but I also want to contribute to the shows. With her blessing, I went back. And what I observed gave me hope and gave me a sense of security.
"It's been brought up — at first, the masks weren't being taken seriously enough," he continued. "Eventually, a fine system was implemented to make sure people took it seriously. That came from me. I thought that the masks weren't being worn seriously enough, so I went and talked to the people in charge. They immediately did what they could to remedy the situation. I don't blame anybody for the mask thing. It's easy to forget how important those masks are. Some people just straight up believe that the masks don't make a difference, and that's their belief. But if we're all going to work together and we're all trying to keep each other safe, I think it matters. If you've had somebody in your family affected by this the way my family was, it's a lot easier to remember that these masks make a huge difference. These masks do make a difference, and I felt it was important for people to take that seriously. I was pleased that the company felt the same way and made sure to get the message out to everybody that this is a big deal. That's why, in the end, I decided to come back. I feel comfortable going back to work, and I feel as safe as I can be there."
WWE's policy now states that unless you're on-camera or in the ring, you have to wear a mask while at the WWE Performance Center. Anyone without a mask will be fined $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second offense.
Owens is booked to compete this week in a match against Seth Rollins on Monday Night Raw.
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