Booker T has suggested that AEW should bear some responsibility for Jeff Hardy’s recent struggles after the star was arrested for DUI.
On June 13th, Jeff Hardy was arrested and charged with numerous offences including driving under the influence and driving while suspended.
Officers at the scene noted that the star was unable to complete any of the standard sobriety tests, while in footage of the arrest, Hardy appears very unsteady on his feet.
It has since been reported that officers administered two breath tests on the AEW star, his first sample read 0.294 blood-alcohol content, while his second read 0.291. The legal limit to drive in Florida is .08, making Hardy’s level of blood alcohol almost four times the legal limit.
Speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T offered his thoughts on the situation. The former World Champion described the situation as “sad” before discussing the severity of the incident.
“We were just just talking about how serious alcohol is and how serious addiction really is. Jeff Hardy has been one of those guys who have been going through it for quite some time. It’s public as far as Jeff Hardy’s struggles with addiction,” Booker said.
“I must say when I heard about it, I was like, ‘Wow, man. It’s sad, because this is serious. This is a class three felony. He could face up to five years of prison. That right there makes it a little bit different.’ You could actually end up in prison just for driving drunk, let alone the Sunny situation where somebody could die. It could get really, really serious, but just from an alcohol perspective, he’s facing five years in prison for this right here.”
Throughout his more than two decade long career, Jeff Hardy has found fame for his high-risk style, and numerous stunts which have placed an incredible strain on his body. Since signing with AEW in March, Hardy has continued that theme, performing in a series of violent matches.
Furthermore, the star was said to be banged up after his recent clash with Darby Allin and “almost knocked out” during a match at Double or Nothing. Matt Hardy later revealed that his brother had couldn’t remember the bout at Double or Nothing.
Continuing his analysis, Booker T questioned whether these matches and the toll they have taken on Hardy, may have played a part in him turning to alcohol to manage to try and manage the pain.
“I don’t wish that on anybody. People are going to say, ‘Man, he deserves it.’ I’ve seen comments already saying ‘AEW didn’t put the drink in his hand and didn’t put the keys in his hand and make him drive.’
Yeah, they didn’t, but I think AEW has some responsibility to bear because you go back and look at the compilation of death defying dives Jeff Hardy has pulled off since arriving in AEW, and I’m gonna tell you right there that pain comes along with that. When you’ve got pain, a lot of times you will go and drink or take drugs to numb the pain, and therefore, damn it, I just relapsed. Did he try to do it? Probably not. But that’s what people with addiction do. So they do have some responsibility to bear here.”
On June 14th in a short statement posted on social media it was announced that Jeff Hardy had been suspended by AEW without pay. In addition, the company offered to assist Hardy with treatment for his substance abuse issues.
H/t to WrestlingNewsCo for the transcription.