Former WWE Talent Faces Social Media Backlash Over New Career Choice

WWE Maryse Renee Paquette Charly Caruso Charly Arnolt

Former WWE personality Charly Arnolt has successfully made a name for herself in the world of broadcasting, but the reasoning behind her recent career change has some fans blasting the star online.

During her time as Charly Caruso in WWE, the star gained popularity as a top tier broadcaster, whether she was hosting pre-show panels or showing fans around the lovely sights of Blackpool, England.

Arnolt began working with ESPN in 2018, and she joined the company full time when she parted ways with WWE in 2021. She appeared on some of the channel’s most-watched programs, including First Take and SportsCenter. However, she’s recently made the decision to leave ESPN to join Outkick, a multimedia brand under the Fox umbrella.

Speaking about her decision on Fox News, Arnolt revealed that ESPN’s decision to highlight American swimmer Lia Thomas played a part in her decision to leave. Thomas is an NCAA athlete who’s found herself at the center of political debates surrounding trans athletes in sports as she’s the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA Division I national championship.

ESPN correspondents Sage Steele and Sam Ponder have recently come under fire for speaking out against trans women in sports, and when asked about their comments, Arnolt applauded them for voicing their opinions despite them going against the network that employs them.

“Well, that’s the question, because ESPN has been very adamant about keeping politics out of their programming. Yet you just saw late last month they did a whole tribute during women’s month for Lia Thomas, so therefore it doesn’t exactly seem like they are keeping politics completely out of the mix. But I have to commend these women for standing up for these women who unfortunately are losing so much of the success that they’ve worked so hard for.

“I mean, here you have a man who enters the the women’s division, and let’s be quite honest about Lia Thomas. As a man, didn’t really do much, didn’t move the needle. Run of the mill swimmer. Enters the women’s division, starts breaking records, completely obliterating any type of success that these women could ever hope to reach.

“So as far as ESPN, I don’t really know what their plan is as far as whether they’ve talked to these women or addressed it on air. I would hope that this would be something that they would address, but up to this point, they’ve remained completely mum on the topic, so I’m not exactly sure what happens. But I know Sage has been a huge advocate for women and their rights and very outspoken.”

Former WWE Star Charly Arnolt Explained Why She Left ESPN

When asked why she left ESPN, Arnolt continued, saying that she’s a very opinionated woman who at times felt “stifled” during her time with her previous employer.

“You know, I’m a very opinionated person, I always have been. That’s something I really love about myself, and I just felt like at ESPN I was a little bit stifled. There was a lot of conversations and issues that have really just permeated the world of sports, and really just society in general, that I was not able to speak up about. And it made me very uncomfortable, because I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself.

“So then, here’s a place like Outkick that really the idea of cancel culture does not exist. And you have a guy like Clay Travis who really stands behind everyone at the company and says ‘Listen, you can say whatever you want as long as you are convicted in what you’re saying, and you really believe in it, you have nothing to worry about.'”

Arnolt’s comments have come under fire as transphobic, with many pointing to a June 2020 tweet where she asked fans to “spread love, not hate” while wearing a shirt that read “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?”

“READ. THE. SHIRT. SPREAD. LOVE. NOT. HATE. *If you’re closed-minded, this is when your silence if preferred. But, if you’re full of love, speak up and be the change the world needs! Realize the difference #justice #equality #BeTheChange #SpreadLove”

If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit the original source and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.