By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Former WWE broadcast team member Renee Young (Renee Paquette) spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina. She stated repeatedly that she has no hard feelings, but she did express frustration over the reaction to her announcing that she tested positive for COVID-19. “I generally just like to be transparent about everything. I like to just be honest,” Young said. “There’s no shame in having got it. Again we don’t know what’s going on with anything. We’re all trying to figure it out. So when I tweeted that I had it, I wasn’t doing it as, like, ‘I GOT COVID.’ That was not my MO when I tweeted.
“It was mostly, ‘Hey, I have it.’ Also, in case there were people that could’ve been around me and maybe seen that I had it, I felt a responsibility to make sure people knew that I was sick. But, yeah, it was NOT well received. They weren’t even even like ‘You shouldn’t have posted it.’ But it was like, ‘We wish you gave us a heads up.’ It was bad for PR and whatnot. But again, I wouldn’t have even thought to be like, ‘Hey guys, I’m gonna tweet that I have Covid, ha, ha.’ Like, that was just not what I was thinking about when I posted it.”
Young also said she felt slighted by the company. “Listen, anything I say on this is gonna end up seeming like controversial or like I’m shitting on it or whatever,” said Young. “But, yeah, did I feel a little slighted? I didn’t really feel like anyone was all that concerned that I got sick. That bothered me for sure. But, you know, it’s hard to say. Again, it’s like, shit, the show goes on and now they’re working at the Amway Center and they’re essentially doing the best that they can NOW. Now doing the proper tests.
“I think that was something that should’ve been implemented from the beginning. Since everything that’s gone down and however many people ended up getting sick, now it feels like a much safer environment. Even when I was there for SummerSlam, I was definitely less concerned about it knowing that everyone in the building has been properly tested with the nose swab and whatnot.” Listen to the full podcast at SI.com.
Powell’s POV: Young revealing that she tested positive would not have been a bad look for the company had they been doing the proper testing from the start. Heck, she may not have been exposed to the virus had they properly tested from the start. It really is twisted that WWE was deemed “essential business” in the state of Florida from the very beginning of the pandemic and that they didn’t even bother to do actual COVID-19 testing until they had an outbreak at the WWE Performance Center months later. And while all the major sports have been open regarding the number of positive tests their players have experienced, WWE has yet to publicly acknowledge that any wrestlers have tested positive let alone share the number of just how many wrestlers have tested positive. This is a bad look for the company and they have been lucky so far that the mainstream media hasn’t taken them to task for the way they’ve handled the situation.