SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang is going all-in on Vince McMahon, blasting the WWE chairman in a series of tweets this past weekend, aimed at what Yang feels is WWE misclassifying pro wrestlers as independent contractors rather than employees.
Yang, 45, is an entrepreneur who went from a relative unknown to someone who was gaining traction during the democratic primaries, eventually ending up on the debate stage. He became infamous for being the first major presidential candidate to run on the idea of a universal basic income — something he called the “Freedom Dividend” — in which he proposed $1,000 monthly payments to every American over 18 years old. Yang proposed the idea due to what he feels will be dwindling opportunities for American workers due to technology and automation wiping out jobs.
This weekend, Yang set his sights on McMahon, who reportedly told WWE talent last week that they were no longer allowed to do business with third parties such as Cameo and Tik Tok.
Yang has been rumored as a potential Secretary of Labor in a Joe Biden administration.
“If I’m not the Secretary of Labor I’m pretty confident I’ll have his or her number to talk about the ridiculous classification of WWE wrestlers as independent contractors while controlling their name and likeness for years, even for something as benign as Cameo,” Yang tweeted. “Come on Vince – you’ve already deprived the folks breaking their backs for you of healthcare, security, recovery time, retirement benefits and fair treatment re: licenses and royalties. At least let them make a living off their own names. Many of them need it.
“I grew up a wrestling fan and it’s been sad to see so many of my childhood heroes pass away early. I’d feel better knowing that they and their families were being fairly treated – I look forward to doing what I can for the next generation of performers. I know how tough it is.
“Vince you’d better hope your old friend Donald (Trump) wins because change is in the air and changes are long overdue where your corrupt labor practices are concerned. It would give me great pleasure. The people know.
“For all the wrestlers who know that you’re being misclassified but are reliant on staying on Vince’s good side – even because WWE might hire you – I get it. Our job is to make it easier for you to get what you deserve without risking your career.”