COO Joe Koff Says Politics Have No Place in Ring of Honor, Which is Owned by Sinclair

Ring of Honor Chief Operating Office Joe Koff was interviewed by Wrestling Inc. Friday, and he addressed the recent criticism of ROH as a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the right-wing television conglomerate which is known for pushing a conservative message across its network of affiliates. Check out this report about Sinclair from renowned wrestling journalist John Oliver:

The subject made headlines last month when indie wrestler David Starr trashed ROH for its Sinclair ties in a promo for an upcoming match against ROH World Champion Jay Lethal in Israel for Israeli Pro Wrestling Association.

Starr was later asked to remove the video of the promo, reportedly due to pressure from ROH, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet. He complied, though he did not apologize.

And that brings us to Wrestling Inc.’s interview with Koff today. Here’s what Koff had to say about the situation:

I think the buzz has kind of died down. I think what happened was it was picked up and David Starr ran a promo. I really believe politics has no place. We continue to be a place where all athletes are welcome. We’re not a political organization. Our sole focus is to bring Ring of Honor fans a world-class product. I think by agreeing to let Jay wrestle in Israel is part of that mission. There is no politics in this. This is professional wrestling. I believe it has died down. I think it got a little more press than it needed, but the promoter makes those calls. I don’t make those calls. We’re lending Jay out. We’ve agreed to let him have the champion because the promoter thought it would be fantastic. That’s what happened. Nothing more to that. Sinclair has been nothing short of exceptional in helping us with the reach we have. They are fantastic as a parent company. Without them we wouldn’t be having these conversations. I’m putting this together in true partnership spirit that this is our great work being rewarded by a great company supports it.

What do you think? Does that settle it? Or no? Let us know in the comments.

Ring of Honor is set to put on a huge show with New Japan Pro Wrestling Saturday at Madison Square Garden: the G1 Supercard. You can buy the event on PPV, or watch it as a member of ROH’s Honor Club on their website or the Fite TV app.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.