STAMFORD, CT: WWE has ended its contract with Hulk Hogan after a 2012 recording surfaced on Friday of the wrestling legend reportedly going on a racist rant.
The sports entertainment company quickly issued a statement on Friday morning saying it had cut ties with the longtime star and emphasizing its commitment to diversity.
"WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan)," the company said in an emailed statement on Friday. "WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds, as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers, and fans worldwide."
WWE erased all mention of Hogan from its website on Friday morning, including his Hall of Fame page. He is also no longer listed as a judge on USA’s Tough Enough TV show, and WWE removed all links to his merchandise from its online shop. It was not immediately clear if USA had already taped future episodes featuring Hogan.
The many-time WWE champion allegedly went on a tirade about his daughter, singer Brooke Hogan, sleeping with a black man in 2012, according to the National Enquirer and RadarOnline.com. Hogan reportedly used the N-word multiples times on the recording.
Other reports on Friday referenced an October 2012 radio interview with Hogan in which he also reportedly used racial slurs.
Hogan is in the midst of a $100 million personal injury legal battle with Gawker Media after he sued the company for releasing a sex tape featuring him.
Update: Hogan issued a statement to People magazine on Friday apologizing for the incident.
"Eight years ago, I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it," he told the magazine, adding, "This is not who I am."
Hogan tweeted a vague message early Friday.
In the storm I release control,God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be,one love. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 24, 2015
Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 after being part of the WWE (formerly WWF) off and on since the early 1980s.