If you're even remotely familiar with wrestling, odds are that you've heard the name Ric Flair on one occasion or another. The prolific fighter-turned-actor is one of the names most synonymous with the sport, and through his successes, he has become a larger-than-life character among his peers.
However, that legacy may be in jeopardy now that some serious allegations have been leveraged against Ric as of late, causing him to speak out in his own defense. So, why is Ric — whose real name is Richard Fliehr — getting canceled, and what are the specific details of it all? Keep reading to find out.
Why is Ric Flair getting canceled? It has to do with the "plane ride from hell."
As Pro Wrestling Stories reports, during a recent episode of Dark Side of the Ring, host Rory Karpf accused Ric of sexual assault. He alleged that the wrestler, while intoxicated, exposed himself to flight attendant Heidi Doyle during a "plane ride from hell" in 2002. Furthermore, it was mentioned that the star pushed her up against the plane's back door and forcibly put her hand on his genitals. Besides Ric, several other big names in wrestling at the time were present on the infamous flight.
After the Dark Side of the Ring episode about the plane ride aired on September 16, 2021, Ric was suspended from a national ad campaign run by Car Shield, and his social media pages were filled with angry fans demanding answers. Naturally, the star decided to speak out about it all on his own terms.
Ric tweeted on Sept. 20, 2021, about the issue, saying "I want to clarify a few things: About four years ago, I gave ESPN full access to my life for a '30 for 30' special. They covered taxes, financial issues, adultery, divorces, the passing of my child, and drinking/partying AT LENGTH. Rory Karpf, desperate to matter for another 15 minutes, did an interview about it this morning."
He then denied claims made by Rory in the Dark Side of the Ring episode that he forced Heidi to grab his genitals.
However, in a subsequent statement to Wrestling Inc., Ric admitted that he did make a "helicopter" motion with his exposed genitals on the flight, but maintained that it was the extent of his actions and he did not inappropriately touch Heidi.
"To clarify, the 'helicopter,' as it was called, is accurate. I wish I could blame it on youth, but it was a case of drinking too much and being inappropriate and I apologize for that," he told the publication.
Ric went on to say that he condemns "sexual assault in any way, shape or form" and added that "I've never forced myself on anyone in any way. Period," doubling down on the notion that Rory's claims of forcible assault were inaccurate.
After he departed from the WWE in August 2021, it was rumored that Ric might move to AEW. Now, recent reports, per Sportskeeda, mention that such a decision would land the company in "hot water" amidst the damning allegations against "Nature Boy."