WWE splits with Hulk Hogan amid reported comments

World Wrestling Entertainment has split with its decades-long icon Hulk Hogan amid a brewing controversy over alleged statements by the wrestler (Tweet this).

"WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide," the company said in a statement Friday.

The Daily Beast and others reported that WWE had scrubbed Hogan from its website and hall of fame page, and that his merchandise was no longer for sale in the online store.

The website reported that WWE acted following the emergence of alleged racially tinged comments by the wrestler.

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In a statement, Hogan apologized for the language he used, and said he is resigning from commitments to the WWE.

"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 said. "I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs. It is not who I am. I continue to work every day to improve as a person, and this matter is an important learning experience for me in that regard. As a result I am resigning from my contractual relationship with the WWE."