WWE

Mark Henry: Kofi Kingston is Inspiring a new Generation of Black Professional Wrestlers

Written by Brad Shepard

TMZ Sports caught up with WWE legend Mark Henry on Thursday, while he was promoting Busted Open on SiriusXM.

“The World’s Strongest Man” was asked if Kofi Kingston becoming the WWE Champion was significant, and he talked about how that has potentially inspired a young generation of black professional wrestlers.

“15 years from now there might be another 2 or 3 black wrestlers that come into the industry, and they were inspired by Kofi Kingston,” Henry says.

“It’s a powerful thing to have representation, and it’s also a powerful thing to be able to see somebody that looks like you, and have them tell you first hand the struggle and what it took for them to get there.”

TMZ Sports asked Henry if WWE has a diversity problem, and he said no. He pointed to the company having a lot of turnover as the biggest issue and said he has seen improvement in diversity.

“When I came into wrestling there were 3 people, 3 black people in the company. There is growth. There is a future for the African-American in pro wrestling, and ya know, I want to be a part of that as much as I can.”

Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35 to become the first African-born WWE Champion, and only the second black WWE Champion.

About the author

Brad Shepard

Brad's journalism work has been credited in Fox Business, Washington Post, New York Daily News, New York Post, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, Deadspin, Yahoo Sports, Forbes, Golf Digest, Bleacher Report, Sporting News, The Sun, NESN, Breitbart, Zero Hedge, and ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, among others.

He has appeared on Fox Sports Radio, ESPN Radio, Sky Sports Radio in the UK and Vibe 105 FM in Toronto. He currently co-hosts the “Oh, You Didn’t Know” Wrestling Show, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Brad was internationally credited for breaking the story of the XFL return.
He was voted one of the top 50 best Twitter accounts to follow by The Wrestling Estate. You can follow Brad on Twitter at @TheBradShepard.