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Andrew Yang on how the US Presidential election can affect WWE wrestlers

A member of the Yang Gang at a WWE show
A member of the Yang Gang at a WWE show
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 15 Sep 2020, 04:55 IST
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Entrepreneur and former Democratic candidate for United States President Andrew Yang has been well-established as a pro wrestling fan.

Recently, he's been very outspoken about not just his fandom (he's a huge Chris Jericho fan), but about how wrestlers are treated by their employers. Most recently, he's spoken about his opposition to WWE's newly adopted third-party social media policy.

During an exclusive interview on Wrestling Inc.'s daily podcast, Andrew Yang discussed many subjects related to this topic, such as how WWE and Vince McMahon are able to get away with such policies. He also addressed how a win by Democrat Sen. Joe Biden in November's elections can help WWE performers.

On the subject of wrestlers' classification as "independent contractors," Andrew Yang commented:

"A lot of it, Nick, is that wrestlers are afraid to speak out, and I've had wrestlers past and present reach out to me and say that Vince has been getting away with exploitation of wrestlers... calling them independent contractors while controlling their activities for years and years... [They're] a quasi-monopoly, and wrestlers fear that if they do try and unionize or organize in any way that Vince doesn't like, that [they] will never work again."

Andrew Yang was then asked why the US Federal government hadn't interfered much in the same way they had in the past with companies like Uber and Lyft - forcing the ride-share companies to classify their drivers as employees rather than contractors. The founder of Venture For America mentioned the National Labor Relations Board in his reply:

"[T]hese labor issues tend to fall under the National Labor Relations Board, which typically intervenes if there are attempts to unionize that are brought to them or retaliation claims that are brought to them and because the WWE has such a stranglehold on the livelihood of so many wrestlers, there haven't been people that have even raised action with the National Labor Relations Board in order for it to reach a certain point."

Could we be seeing Secretary Andrew Yang in the White House?

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Andrew Yang is almost a sure-fire bet to score a Cabinet position in a Joe Biden administration, a position the former candidate assured us he would use to bring about reform in regards to this topic. When asked, Andrew Yang simply said "I would, and we're going to get it done," while also adding he had not actually discussed the issue with Biden or his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris:

"I talked to Joe and Kamala in the incidence of the campaign and helping them try to win. I have not had this conversation with them, no, but there will be due time, again, first things first, we have to get Trump out and win. But then after that, this is not going anywhere from my agenda, and it's something that I can get done, I believe, pretty straightforwardly."

The Wrestling Inc. Daily Podcast is posted Monday through Friday here.

Published 15 Sep 2020, 04:55 IST
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