Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan poses at the premiere of the HBO documentary film "Andre the Giant" at the ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles. File picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
WWE announced Sunday that pro-wrestling legend Hulk Hogan has been reinstated to the organization's Hall of Fame after a three-year suspension that was handed down after audio emerged of Hogan going on a racist tirade on a sex tape made in 2012. In the wake of those July, 2015 revelations, WWE had terminated Hogan's contract and scrubbed all mentions of him from its website. A search of the site Monday morning found numerous mentions of Hogan, including his Hall of Fame biography. However, the company told Adam Silverstein of CBS Sports that it had not signed Hogan, a six-time WWE champion, to any sort of contract.

"This second chance follows Hogan's numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake," WWE said in a statement. "These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame."

According to numerous reports, Hogan's reinstatement had been in the works for months. The 64-year-old wrestler was in Pittsburgh for Sunday's WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view event and said he spoke to the gathered talent ahead of the show. Hogan tweeted:

"Just met with the @WWESuperstars and on all levels the volume of love and support was overwhelming. I've been praying for this day and I finally feel like I made it back home. Only Love 4 the #WWEUNIVERSEbrother HH"


According to pro-wrestling journalist Bryan Alvarez, the meeting was filmed for a future WWE Network special. Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com has more:

"According to several WWE sources who were present at the meeting, Hogan spent a long time apologizing for what he said and for hurting others and embarrassing the company with his comments. Hogan then took time to remind everyone to always remember to think about what they are saying, pointing out that in today's day and age, they have to remember that there are always cameras everywhere and they could be recorded even when they don't realize they are. We are told the talents gave Hogan a big reaction at the end and a number of them were shaking his hand and hugging him at the end of the meeting with Hogan getting very emotional."

On the tape, Hogan used the n-word multiple times and admitted to being a "racist, to a point." He issued an apology after his comments were revealed, calling them "unacceptable" and saying "this is not who I am." A number of pro wrestlers came to his defense, including Booker T, a fellow WWE Hall of Famer, who is black.

"Everybody deserves a second chance," Booker T said last month. "It's what life is all about."

The Washington Post