The incident occurred just before a six-person scramble match in which Hamrick was scheduled to participate during the company’s “Aura” event Sunday evening in Providence, R.I. After all participants entered the ring, Hamrick took the microphone from ring announcer Emil Jay and called a ringside fan “a face-down, ass-up, pillow-biting faggot.”
He followed up the slur by posing as a stereotypical effeminate man and launching into a gender-based insult at another fan before pro wrestler Manders ripped the microphone out of his hands.
Fans directed “Kick him out” chants at Hamrick once the match began, and the other wrestlers in the match looked visibly angered by Hamrick’s comments.
Hamrick’s use of the slur drew extra criticism for its timing, as Sunday’s event occurred on the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance and took place less than 24 hours after a shooting at Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub Club Q left five people dead and 25 others injured.
During tonite's event, Chris Hamrick used language in an unscripted promo that was inconsistent with our values & offensive to many in our audience. We apologize to those affected.— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) November 20, 2022
We are donating Chris's pay, and matching it with an equal donation of our own to Youth Pride RI. pic.twitter.com/5pEFAWYRgX
GCW’s official Twitter account issued a statement within an hour of Hamrick’s appearance, saying that the promo was “unscripted” and that Hamrick’s language “was inconsistent with our values & offensive to many in our audience.”
The company also announced that it donated Hamrick’s pay for the event to Youth Pride RI, a nonprofit “dedicated to meet the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth” in Rhode Island, and matched the amount for a total donation of $500.
“We apologize to those affected,” the GCW statement continued.
Hamrick addressed his comments in a statement released via Twitter soon after.
“I want to apologize to everyone for the language I used at the GCW show tonite (sic). For years I used this language in character and it became a habit. Regardless, there is no excuse because I know these words are offensive and I should know better. Sorry to anyone I offended.”
I want to apologize to everyone for the language I used at the GCW show tonite. For years I used this language in character and it became a habit. Regardless, there is no excuse because I know these words are offensive and I should know better. Sorry to anyone I offended #GCWAura— Chris Hamrick (@ChrisHa01796326) November 21, 2022
Hamrick, a popular independent wrestler who made appearances with WWE and ECW between 1994 and 2001, has also drawn criticism for branding his character around the Confederate flag during portions of his career.
Multiple Facebook posts unearthed following Sunday’s controversy show him using homophobic language and promoting images advocating for violence against trans individuals in recent years.
It is unknown if GCW plans to utilize Hamrick on future events. Outsports reached out to GCW for confirmation, but the company has not responded as of press time.
EFFY, one of the collection of out LGBTQ GCW regulars that also wrestled at Sunday’s event and creator of “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch” alongside GCW owner Brett Lauderdale, said that he spoke privately with Hamrick “about the danger of language like this.”
“We are trying to create safe spaces. I hope he understood the effect words can have, especially on a day of LGBTQ tragedy,” EFFY continued. “I’m sorry if you had to hear it.”
Manders also spoke out following Sunday’s event. “There’s no need to praise me,” he said, “Let’s just be better y’all.”