The WWE issued a statement late Monday night regarding a racial slur used by 15-year-old LaMelo Ball while cheering on his father LaVar Ball with brother Lonzo during Monday Night RAW.
LaVar was in the ring confronting The Miz while sons LaMelo and Lonzo watched on. While LaVar and The Biz squared off, LeMelo could be heard using the N-word twice on the live microphone at Staples Center in Los Angeles. He was laughing through the segment but his comments are receiving significant attention on social media.
Sports Illustrated posted a censored version of the exchange:
“The inappropriate language used by a guest during the ‘Miz TV; segment was not scripted nor reflects WWE’s values,” the WWE said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times.
The segment was used to promote Big Baller Brand, with four mannequins in the ring displaying various options of the brand’s $50 T-shirts as part of a potential partnership between Big Baller and “The Miz.”
LaMelo Ball is a rising high school junior at Chino Hills (Calif.) High School. He is rated as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com and already has a scholarship offer to UCLA, where brothers Lonzo went and LiAngelo is expected to attend this fall.
World Wrestling Entertainment is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company that deals primarily in professional wrestling, with revenue also coming from film, music, video games, product licensing, and direct product sales.
WWE also refers to the professional wrestling promotion itself, founded by Jess McMahon and Toots Mondt in 1952 as Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. As of 2016, it is the largest wrestling promotion in the world, holding over 500 events a year (with the roster divided up into various globally traveling brands), and broadcasting to about 36 million viewers in more than 150 countries. The company’s global headquarters is located in Stamford, Connecticut, with offices in major cities across the world.