Darren Young coming out seemed like a shock to the wrestling world, but it really wasn’t. Many of the WWE Superstars were well aware that one half of the Prime Time Players was gay and it didn’t change his position in the company either way. In fact, it may even give his career a big boost.
The story broke recently via TMZ, as all these tabloid stories usually do. Even though Young has been with WWE since signing with NXT in 2009, he’s still a relative newcomer to the big time. And now, for reasons beyond his in-ring ability, people are becoming familiar with his name. Just last night on Monday Night Raw, Young was prominently featured in a tag-team match.
Although billed from Miami, Florida, Young, whose real name is Fred Rosser, was born in Union, NJ and began his wrestling career at IWF in West Paterson, New Jersey. After several years of wrestling on the indy circuit, Rosser signed with WWE developmental. The NXT rookie was mentored by CM Punk and soon after Darren Young appeared on WWE TV as part of the brash Nexus faction.
Young was even referred to as the black John Cena by some fans. He had the right look and physique and would’ve gotten a push, but I’d wager to say that Young wouldn’t have announced he was gay if he felt it would be detrimental to his success within WWE. If anything, revealing his personal sexual preference has only brought him more notoriety. In some ways this seemed like a strategic business move – one that was probably passed through the corporate hierarchy in WWE before Young broke the news to TMZ.
Can’t you just see Vince McMahon’s reaction if he was opposed to Young coming out while still on the active roster? It probably wouldn’t be long before Young heard that famous growl:”You’re FIIRRRREEED.”
If Young did in fact make the announcement on his own, without WWE’s knowledge, I give him credit for being brave. Either way, WWE would be accused of sexism and discrimination if they retaliated against him in any way, or worse, let him go for making the announcement without their knowledge. As supporters of their Be a Star bullying campaign, WWE would look like super hypocrites.
Never put it passed WWE to see dollar signs in Young’s courageous admission. In our diverse culture, sexual preferences shouldn’t make a difference, but in the wrestling world there’s been several gay wrestlers through the years who kept it to themselves. For some of those WWE Superstars their decision for it to remain a secret had a lot to do with personal reasons, the views on sexuality in the country, or for others, it was the fear of losing their highly sought after position in the company.
If WWE approves of Cameron from the Funkadactyls discussing her option to get breast implants on Total Divas to show that not all women need to have them, WWE may have even encouraged Young to come out to exploit the fact that they are a non-discriminatory company to work for. After hearing of all the wrestlers dying WWE needs as much ammunition to tout as they can get.