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WWE

Apologizes for

Kobe Bryant Rape Joke

7/31/2012 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0730_wrestler_kobe_bryant_wwe_article
The WWE has issued an full apology after an on-air personality joked that one of the wrestlers was "like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado ... he's unstoppable."

It all went down during a live broadcast of "Monday Night Raw" ... when a manager named Abraham Washington -- who was wearing a live mic -- was ringside for a match involving a wrestler named Titus O'Neil ... and during the action, A.W. let the Kobe crack fly.

The comment is an obvious reference to Kobe's 2003 sexual assault case -- when he was accused of raping a woman in his hotel room in Eagle, Colorado. The accuser eventually reached a settlement with Kobe and dropped her case.

A rep for the WWE has issued a statement to TMZ ... telling us, "A.W. made an inappropriate comment and WWE immediately apologized."

The rep adds, "WWE has taken appropriate action in the matter." It's unclear what kind of "action" the org. has decided to take.

Sources tell us A.W. "felt horrible" after he made the comment ... claiming he simply "got caught up in the moment" ... and realizes the comment could be hurtful to rape victims and their families.

A.W. immediately apologized to WWE honchos, including the McMahon family, and several wrestlers ... and has also vowed to refrain from making similar comments in the future.

update_bar
10:20 PM PT -- Washington has issued an apology on Twitter ... calling his comments "inappropriate and insensitive."

He adds, "I went too far with that joke."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
73 COMMENTS

No Avatar
46.

MadCharles    

Didn't he pay his way out of a rape charge ?

729 days ago
47.

Bambi    

F'ing great! Kobe will go down in history as a rapist nothing more nothing less.

728 days ago
48.

MKing4Life    

I'm a WWE fan an I can't stand that promoter/manager. RAW and SMACKDOWN is for entertainment if it was said in a movie people wouldn't be making any comment about his remark. With me making this comment is supporting the WWE Universe and the Superstars that bring us entertainment every week - not the ignorant fool that made his remark. I just don't like him at all.

728 days ago
49.

PATS    

I'm getting tired of this issued an apology nonsense when all apologies do not have to be accepted. It is just getting out of hand so people will do what they want and say what ever they want to say if they can just throw out an apology and everything is wiped clean like nothing happened.

728 days ago
50.

jayman419    

"Family Guy" made the same joke years ago. Do you think they had to apologize to Kobe?

727 days ago
51.

Ursula    

I have been a WWE fan for a long time. Do I agree with everything they do? Not even close. There are still storylines and angles that are idiotic and stupid and I have no idea what the writers were thinking. Do they make mistakes? Yeah, they do. But I'm wondering if half of the people who have responded negatively to this article also jump in on every other politically incorrect comment made by anyone who puts themselves in a public forum. Sure, the joke was in bad taste but I will guarantee you will hear much worse on late night talk shows, Hollywood movies and Emmy winning tv shows. If you think WWE is the only company that needs to apologize for comments made on air, you need to watch a whole lot more tv. And the people who claim to know so much about WWE and be experts on it need to get a life. Again, I am not defending all of their actions by any means, but stop looking to make the company a scapegoat for every bit of bad taste out there. If the company was so bad, why would millions of people support it?

727 days ago
52.

ramontoocrazy    

Wow poor Kobe, first the Lakers don't make it to the Finals and now he got made fun of. I'm hope he can cope in that big mansion of his. And the joke itself wasn't really that offensive, to anyone. I love how people pretend to be so politically correct.

726 days ago
53.

The Chris    

Let me get this straight, Randy Orton, who has broke wwe's wellness policy 2/3 times can stay, but a guy who makes a joke on someone who deserves it gets fired? WOW.

718 days ago
54.

Mez    

it wasn't such a bad joke, it was quite offensive but KNOWING he's part of the pathetic PG era of WWE, what the hell on earth drove him to say the joke live on air in the first place? I think it's just plain silly on his part.

659 days ago
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