It wouldn’t be 2016 without a tweet being a source of controversy. Big E of the New Day sent a group photo of himself, teammates Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, as well as Sasha Banks and Rich Swann. The photo showed all five holding up their respective championships with a caption that apparently upset some people on Twitter. The caption read #BlackExcellence and while much of the reaction was positive, 2016 isn’t over yet and some negative feedback came down the pipeline.

Why this isn’t a big deal

First of all, this wasn’t a political statement by the group or anything of the sort. They are proud of their accomplishments and think it’s great that they’re all champions at the same time. There have been some to claim WWE to have a “race problem” with crowning black champions over the years. It hasn’t been a concerted effort by the company to hold anyone down due to race. The New Day, Swann, and Banks were just highlighting the fact that they’re all champions at the same time.

See? Nothing to lose your marbles over. However, as the over-confident thumbs of Twitter users have known to do, they received flack over the photo. It wasn’t an overwhelming amount as many users are coming to their defense. It was enough that it needed to be addressed. Kofi Kingston, the veteran of the group, and someone that has had success as a singles and tag team competitor gave a perfect response.

“Excellence is not the same as supremacy.” – Kofi Kingston.

That’s an important quote to think about within his response. They weren’t given the titles because of a black supremacy movement or because of the color of their skin. They were given those titles and the run they’re on because they’re entertaining, move merchandise, and engage the audience. It’s not easy to be tag team champions for longer than six months and stay interesting.

The WWE hasn’t seen many black athletes flourish with championship gold over the years. Not as an act of intent to hold anyone down, just due to the competitive nature of the business. There are athletes from all over the world from every nationality chomping at the bit to get to WWE.

Nothing to apologize for

I understand why they did it, but I hate that an apology was needed. Nobody was threatened, insulted, personally attacked or made to be a victim. Yet, people came out of the wood work because of a single tweet. New Day has been one of the best groups WWE has seen in years and deserves everything they’ve earned. Sasha and Rich Swann are well on their way to productive and successful careers as well.

Marcus Hagness, a college graduate, living in North Dakota, is a WWE and UNC writer for The Sports Blaze. Follow TSB on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook. Reach Marcus on Twitter (@TheRealHags) or email him at mhagness@gmail.com.