Martha Hart says she has “steadfastly refused” to work with WWE, fires back at Bret Hart after he was critical of her for not allowing Owen Hart to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Dr. J. Martha Hart released the following statement in response to Bret Hart being critical of her for now allowing WWE to induct her late husband Owen Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The suggestion by Bret Hart that I am “erasing” the memory of my late husband, Owen Hart, is reckless, irresponsible, and clearly untrue.

Bret’s comments are rooted in the fact that I have steadfastly refused to work with the WWE to exploit Owen’s image for commercial gain. Owen was an incredible entertainer and I know that his many fans around the world enjoyed his wrestling career immensely. I encourage them to continue to do so. But I am firm in my belief that the WWE was responsible for Owen’s death. As a result, I cannot and will not support any efforts by the WWE to profit from Owen’s memory.

Instead, I, my son Oje and daughter Athena have worked tirelessly to honor Owen through the good works of The Owen Hart Foundation, which has exceeded $4 million in gift giving and contributions toward scholarships, home owner bursaries, and other special projects that have greatly improved the lives of so many in Canada and around the world. We have always believed that this is the most fitting public tribute to a man of profound integrity; a wonderful human being who just happened to wrestle. I know that Owen would be very proud of the tremendous accomplishments the Foundation has achieved in his name.

Bret Hart’s comments are disrespectful and cruel. It is disappointing that so many in the media have chosen to report them without seeking my perspective. Whatever Bret may believe, the fact is that, far from “erasing” Owen’s memory, I have devoted the last 20 years to celebrating his life in a very public way. I can think of very few people who have been remembered so glowingly by their spouse.

For more information about The Owen Hart Foundation, including the Scholarship Fund, the Owen Hart Foundation Housing Program, and other special projects, visit www.owenhartfoundation.org.

Powell’s POV: I respect Martha’s stance on the matter. Yes, it would be nice moment for fans to see Owens inducted, but it’s not unreasonable that she is opposed to having her late husband inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame given her beliefs regarding his death. I know it won’t be a popular opinion with some fans, but if she and her children are not comfortable with it then it’s something those fans need to accept. At the same time, I don’t blame Bret for expressing to CBSSports.com his desire to have his late brother inducted even without her blessing, but I feel it would be a risky move from a public relations standpoint for WWE to do so.



Readers Comments (7)

  1. Like you, as an Owen Hart fan I would love to see him inducted but I have to respect Martha’s wishes. It’s easy for us on the outside to say let it go but she has to wake up everyday without her loving husband and the father of her children. Her pain was must be unimaginable.

  2. Whether it’s her intention or not, she IS disrespecting her husband’s memory and helping erase his legacy. Everyone in Owen’s family agrees that he would not want his legacy being erased like she is doing. The sad thing is that fewer and fewer people are remembering him and his career because she has fought tooth and nails to make sure his memory is buried, even more than WWE is doing with Benoit. Sadly his legacy may not be resurrected until after she passes away.

  3. It doesn’t matter if fans like it or not, her wishes should be respected.

  4. I don’t blame her one bit. After all, WWE did kill her husband and the father of her children.

    • WWE did not kill her husband, gravity did. It was a tragic accident, but I find it hard to believe that Owen was forced to do the stunt. He and WWE made a choice to do the stunt and it went horribly wrong.

  5. Why even bother giving your POV at the end if it’s just to play it safe saying both sides are right? Also, given the number of websites sharing Bret’s side only. was it necessary to include it in Martha’s article? Or to go out of your way to sympathize with Bret’s side?

    Martha and her family will never get a fair shake in wrestling media because no matter what anyone says about sympathizing, their loyalties are to themselves first and foremost, and what’s best for sheets like this one is Owen being inducted. So of course, every Martha article will go out of its way to show support for Bret, but very few Bret articles sympathize with Martha.

    PS: What’s with the name Martha? Superman’s mom, Batman’s mom, Owen’s wife…

    • It wasn’t an attempt to play it safe. It’s a case of understanding where Martha is coming from and accepting her stance while also feeling like Bret is entitled to his opinion. Who am I to disagree with a woman who doesn’t want her late husband to enter the McMahon family corporate HOF when she blames the company for his death? And who am I to say that Bret is wrong for wanting his late brother to enter a HOF that clearly means something to him? This is not the type of story where one person is definitely right and the other is wrong.

      I ran Bret’s side because that’s what she was responding to. It needed to be there for context since it’s something I didn’t cover previously because I wasn’t even aware of it until Martha issued the statement. The way other sites covered a story does not determine how I write a story. As far as it being best for “sheets like this one”, Owen entering the HOF is not a difference maker to any of our businesses. For that matter, whether something is good or bad for my business is not something I even consider when writing my POV.

      PS: George Washington’s wife.

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