Professional wrestler Randy Orton, a 13-time world champion and main event star in the WWE, is under fire after using a racial slur on a live Twitch stream. Orton showed up on gamer Brad Radke's Twitch channel to play Call Of Duty and dropped the n-word while viewers watched in real-time.
While the original video for the stream has been taken down for obvious reasons, a viewer caught Orton shouting out the racial epithet in a clip. Many have commented that Orton sounded drunk or otherwise intoxicated during the stream, which might partially explain his incredibly poor choice of words.
(Warning: The tweet below contains offensive language.)
The WWE has a history of cutting ties with stars who use offensive language. Hulk Hogan was famously let go from the company after a video surfaced of him uttering the n-word multiple times. He was, however, hired back several years later after winning a lawsuit over his leaked sex tape and issuing multiple public apologies.
It's hard to say what kind of reaction the WWE will have to this indiscretion. Orton is a big star that's worked for the wrestling federation for over 16 years, and he's currently scheduled to be part of a big match for the organization's upcoming event, Crown Jewel. Whether he will be severely punished or simply given a slap on the wrist likely depends on the kind of attention this clip receives. The WWE is a publicly-traded corporation, and if there's one thing the team there hates, it's negative press.
Not saying the n-word or any other kind of racial slur during a stream appears to be a pretty difficult thing for a lot of online personalities to do. It should be easy, as all you have to do is not yell something that makes you look like a bigot. But every week, it seems like a new story pops up about someone doing the exact same thing on the internet. It's starting to become a troublingly, familiar sight. For whatever reason, successful streamers can't seem to help themselves when it comes to uttering offensive slurs.
As fans know, the worlds of wrestling and video games collide far more often these days. Gaming is a popular hobby for the average WWE performer, and with the increased notoriety of the UpUpDownDown Youtube channel, seeing your favorite sports entertainer handling a controller on the internet is a pretty common sight.
But regardless of the crossover between the wrestling and gaming worlds, you probably shouldn't expect Randy Orton to pop up on Twitch again any time soon.
CORRECTION: An earlier edition of this story referred to Brad Radke as a baseball player for the Minnesota Twins. The Twitch streamer referenced is not the former MLB player of the same name and the article has been corrected accordingly.