PROGRESS Wrestling issued the following press release on their company website commenting on the multiple abuse allegations made against talent from the British pro-wrestling scene. They urge fans to listen to the victims and to help rebuild the community into a better and safer place. Check it out below.
Statement regarding abuse allegations in British Wrestling
Hi, this is Jon.
The last couple of days feel like a watershed moment for the British wrestling scene.
The victims’ stories being bravely told, about abuse that they have suffered within the wrestling business, are heartbreaking and eye-opening.
We stand with you, and we hear you. Please keep speaking out.
This is not the time to be filling timelines with stories that distract from the issues being highlighted. Please leave the space so that victims can be heard.
It will take time, but as a wrestling community we can clean this scene up and make it better, and safer.
We are taking steps, immediately, to work out how we can make our work environment safer for talent and fans.
From a personal perspective –
Whether victim, friend, casual acquaintance or colleague – no-one should feel guilty for not seeing the signs of abuse. The nature of the abuser is that they are adept at hiding in plain sight.
As a company we have consistently removed obscene and abusive fans, with the aid of our production crew. We have a ‘banned’ list which gets circulated to all the venues in which we work, so that even if someone on that ‘banned’ list gets a ticket indirectly, security won’t let them in at the door.
We’ve been in business for 8 years now. As is to be expected over the course of that time, there have been incidents between fans, and very occasionally between wrestlers and fans. Where possible, action has been taken. Where appropriate and where a criminal offence may have been committed, we have advised people to take the matter to the police.
PROGRESS doesn’t have anyone under contract. Everyone who works for the company is freelance; what this means in practice is that when they’re on the clock for us, we are ultimately responsible for what they do; once they’ve left the building, they’re an adult and responsible for their own behaviour.
Regarding specific allegations and current roster members:
David Starr – will no longer be working for PROGRESS
Marc ‘Paz’ Parry – will no longer be working for PROGRESS
There are allegations regarding other current, active, in-ring talent; we’ll continue to look into this and will take appropriate action when more information is available.
Thank you for reading. As of this month we are taking steps to diversify our core team, and wider circle of those with whom we consult, and we will learn from this watershed moment.
If you have been a victim of abuse, here are some links which may be helpful:
VICTIM SUPPORT (support and practical help for trauma sufferers) – 0808 168 9111
RAPE CRISIS (for girls or women who have been sexually assaulted) – 0808 802 9999
REFUGE (24 hour crisis line for women suffering from domestic violence) – 0808 200 0247
SAMARITANS (for anyone in a crisis) – 116 123
MEN’S ADVICE LINE (for men suffering from domestic violence) – 0808 801 0327