Multiple American and Canadian independent pro wrestling promotions have cut ties with Canadian pro wrestler Kobe Durst in recent days following Durst’s promotion of transphobia on social media.
Indiana-based promotion Black Label Pro and Ottawa-based promotion Capital City Championship Combat — more commonly known as C*4 — announced that Durst would no longer be appearing on their events due to his actions.
“The opinions shared by Durst go against everything we strive to build within our C*4 community,” read a statement from C*4 management released Saturday morning. “We believe [in] a welcoming and safe environment to all fans, especially those within marginalized groups. We believe in punching up. We strive to have a welcoming locker room to all people, regardless of their race, gender or orientation. The opinions shared by Kobe are not supported or in line with anything about C*4 or the people behind it.”
“Very disappointed in Kobe,” said Black Label Pro owner Michael Blanton via Twitter Friday. “That kind of behavior is completely unacceptable at BLP or in general.”
Two additional Canadian promotions, Hamilton-based Courage Pro Wrestling and Quebec-based Fédération Montérégienne de Lutte (FML), also announced that Durst wouldn’t be appearing on upcoming events. FML also stripped him of its King of Richelieu championship, which he had held for nearly a year.
Please read. pic.twitter.com/oOUWLRMZmX— C*4 (@C4Wrestling) April 8, 2023
These decisions came after multiple wrestling fans called out Durst online for retweeting a story from a Twitter account called “End Wokeness” celebrating longtime Team Canada Powerlifting head coach Avi Silverberg.
Silverberg entered an Alberta powerlifting competition in March claiming he identified as female despite never doing so before in previous competitions and reportedly with no record that he provided the government-issued photo ID displaying his gender as required by the Canadian Powerlifting Union.
Silverberg went on to break a women’s bench press record held by trans powerlifter Anne Andres. The act was celebrated by trans-exclusionary women’s sports group the Independent Council on Women’s Sports as mocking “the discriminatory CPU policy” on trans inclusion. The same organization misgendered Andres and numerous other trans athletes in other social media posts.
Durst’s promotion of this event sparked arguments between Durst and fans. It prompted William Quintana, owner of Oregon-based pro wrestling promotion Prestige Wrestling, to call out a copious amount of tweets from other transphobic figures, including The Daily Wire host Jordan Peterson, that Durst had liked and/or retweeted.
It is also notable that Durst thanked a Twitter user who used the “#ProtectOurKids” hashtag in defense of Durst’s beliefs. The phrase is recognized by the ACLU as being co-opted by trans- and LGBTQ-hate campaigns fueling the deluge of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ laws proposed and passed by many state legislatures, in defense of Durst’s beliefs.
Despite severing ties, at least one promotion, C*4, expressed a hope that Durst learns exactly why the content he promotes is harmful.
Due to some derogatory comments/posts shared, Kobe Durst will no longer be associated with Courage Pro Wrestling events in the future.— Courage Pro (@Courage_Pro) April 7, 2023
We want to have a great atmosphere at the Courage Pro Wrestling shows. We respect each and every talent, fan and supporter of Courage Pro. pic.twitter.com/08iwNPWvC7
“We have told Kobe that until he recognizes his behavior is hurtful and dangerous, he will not be welcomed back,” C*4 said in a statement. “And if he wishes to ever return he must make public and meaningful acknowledgement of the pain he has caused people and why the rhetoric he [is] using is dangerous and causes incredible harm.
“While some may question why we don’t completely write him off, I believe that if there is no path to redemption, consequences mean very little and will only lead to hardening beliefs within individuals. Radicalization happens far too frequently and easily in this day and age of social media echo chambers. Ignoring that people can hopefully change for the better undoubtedly pushes people further down the path of dangerous ideologies.
“We expected more out of Kobe, and are disappointed in his behavior beyond words can express.”
Outsports reached out for comment to Durst and Toronto-based promotion Superkick’D, where Durst is a regular. Neither responded at the time of publication.