Rhea Ripley is speaking out about the constant problem of those at airports that are harassing WWE Superstars merely to get signatures just to turn around and sell the memorabilia. There is a big difference between genuine fans who just want an autograph from their favorite wrestler as opposed to the sharks that hunt for autographs just to sell.
On March 20, Ripley tweeted the following on social media –
After she posted about the situation, Ripley spoke with the USA Network more about why prompted her to make her post and what WWE Superstars continue to go through.
“We fly around so much and we travel so much. Right now I’m doing both brands, so I’m at the airport pretty much every single day. So I run into fans every single day and there’s a lot of them. And when it comes to signing, some of them have piles of the same photos, of the same action figures, of the same pop vinyls, of the same cards — and they want you to sign every single one of them. And if you say, ‘Hey, I’m just going to sign one, I’ve got places to be’ — because most of the time we do, we’re running late. I was running late to work this morning because I landed so late and I’ve got to be here at a certain time, and sometimes we just can’t sign it all.”
She continued to speak about this exact instance and how one particular “fan” continued to follow her which prompted more to do so.
“It’s sort of an entitled thing when some fans expect us to just do it and they start making a fuss if we say no,” she began. “So I had a fan follow me outside the airport today because I said no to them because I didn’t have the time and it was all of the same stuff they wanted signed. It was one fan specifically, he’s notorious, he’s always at the airport getting our signatures and selling them on eBay — we know his face, we know who he is. He was the main instigator, he followed me out and others followed him too and they all followed me as I’m trying to find my Uber. So I’m trying to tell them no and they’re all being persistent and I ended up getting lost, I had no idea where my Uber was, and I ended up down the stairs away from everyone else and I’m just surrounded by these five guys and they’re just hassling me. I don’t think people understand how threatening that is. Especially because you don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know these people.”
Ripley clarified that she has no problems stopping to sign for fans who just want an autograph from their favorite WWE Superstar. In particular if someone had a photo of them together and that would be something that is obviously a keepsake.
“Like I said before, if you’re a genuine fan and you just want a photo with us — we don’t mind taking photos,” she said. “We love our fans, we love our support, and we love everything about the WWE Universe. If you want a photo, I’m down to take a photo, and I know everyone else is, too. If you have a photo of you and us together, I’m going to sign it because that’s a personal thing and I know you’re going to keep that and cherish that, and you’re a true fan, you’re not just trying to make quick money off us while we’re at the airport. Especially at an airport, in many cases, we’re sleep deprived, we’re in a rush, we haven’t eaten, and then there’s people jumping down our throats expecting something from you. It’s just a lot.
“Just treat us with respect like we’re normal human beings instead of products. I find that a lot of the time when you go to the airport, people that are waiting there, waiting for signatures and autographs, a lot them — not all of them, thereo is some good ones in the batch that actually want to meet their favorite Superstars and that’s all good and fine, but it’s the ones that are trying to make money off our signatures and just treat us like we’re a product for everyone’s use.“
What are your thoughts? Discuss below.