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The Warrior attacks

Former wrestling champion creates controversy with comments

By Joe Wentzel
On April 6, 2005

What was to be a lecture on the differences between liberalism and conservatism became heated Tuesday when the man known simply as Warrior came to the Dodd Center.

The night quickly changed from a love fest over the Ultimate Warrior and his career in what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to an attack on his personal beliefs. The Warrior - who Norm Moghtaderi, a 10th-semester sociology and history major, felt was homophobic and racist - was met with unhappy members of the Tent City protest group.

"People like this should not be allowed to spat this off without being countered," said Geoff Traugh, a 4th-semester peace studies and political science major.

The dispute between Traugh and Warrior escalated. Warrior screamed back and stomped on the stage saying questions would be answered during the question and answer segment.

Many people in the audience yelled and verbally attacked Warrior and his views during his hour-and-a-half discussion.

"How do you think, I feel I have to protect him," Maj. Sgt. Linda Killarney said. She called three other officers to the scene for backup. The crowd was warned if this was not stopped, it would end.

The College Republicans, who sponsored the event with the Undergraduate Student Government, said the organization was just trying to add another point of view to the discussion.

"We are truly sorry that the Warrior did not measure up to our standards," College Republicans Spokesman Heath Fahle said.

The group said they had worked hard to bring another view to add to respectful debates. They thought Warrior would represent news ideas after members saw him live. The organization felt compelled to send out a press release apologizing for the event.

"We do not feel that happened tonight," Fahle said. He said the College Republicans had wanted a respectful debate.

Warrior got an unfavorable response from the crowd when he discussed homosexuals.

"Queering don't make the world work," Warrior said.

He also discussed how all rights require responsibilities. He wanted people to know rights come with responsibilities. Traugh fired back with the comment life is a right that comes without responsibility.

Warrior's comments forced one man to yell at him and ask him to apologize to Moghtaderi. While listening to Moghtaderi, Warrior said he needed to get a towel. Moghtaderi is Iranian and his friend took offense, causing an outburst.

Warrior said America is a super power and being a super power hurt the liberalism debate. He argued there are no absolutes in liberalism.

"Don't fall for the lie that both sides are right," Warrior said. "Government won't work unless people work."

The beginning video presentation itself showed sentiments about the war in Iraq. The video showed the Warrior ripping up the Iraqi flag. The video not only showed this event. It accented the event by showing it from four different camera angles.

Warrior also said he had taken steroids to keep up with the rigors of traveling on the road for wrestling and he that he was upfront with his steroid use and wanted other athletes to step forward.

"Yes, I did it to keep up with the road," Warrior said.

He discussed a story about a professional shot putter who worked out at his school. He said the shot putter never used steroids to get the No. 3 ranking in the world. But, he said to get to the No. 1 ranking, there was a different set of rules. Warrior said he never did steroids until he got to 295 pounds and then he never thought about it again.

After the event eased down, Warrior answered questions about wrestling. Students wanted to discuss the feeling of winning, if the matches were planned and if he was still in contact with Hulk Hogan.

The Warrior said he left the WWF after 12 years because of a dispute with Vince McMahon, who is the owner of what is now known as World Wrestling Entertainment. The dispute spurred a five-year legal battle, but the Warrior did not say who won.

The Warrior rose from simple beginnings. In high school, he was chosen as least likely to succeed. He told the audience the story of how a rusty workout machine became his friend. This machine changed his life.

"Exercise made the quality of my life better," Warrior said.

When all was said and done, Warrior said he felt that the event was a success. His associates also saw the event as an exchange of ideas. Many students waited outside the event. Many of them hoped to get one last glimpse of the man who had come to give a lecture. But they never did.

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