Shortly after a report about how WWE came up with enforcing its mask policy was published, Kevin Owens came out and confirmed some of the details.
Pat Laprade reported that it was Owens who went to Vince McMahon about his concerns regarding COVID-19 and the risk of working WWE TV tapings during the outbreak of the virus.
After the meeting with Owens, which also marked the same meeting where he told the WWE boss that he was going home, McMahon enforced the policy. To read about additional details on the creation of the policy, click here.
The former WWE Universal Champion did an interview with Sports Illustrated where he gave his side of the story. He started off by noting how he hurt his ankle at WrestleMania 36 in a match against Seth Rollins so he took time off. However, he came back shortly and then went away again.
“I just felt like it was the right move for my family and I to sit out a few of the tapings of Raw and assess the COVID outbreak.”
Owens brought up how he lives in Orlando so it wasn’t about traveling to the Performance Center, but the outbreak being everywhere. His decision to not work the tapings was due to him and his wife thinking it was the right time to quarantine and practice safe guidelines.
At last week’s tapings, he saw the measures that the company was taking by splitting up the crews and making it clear that masks were required unless they were in the ring.
“A big part of this is my wife lost her grandfather to COVID. We make these decisions together. I don’t want anything I do to make my wife uncomfortable when I get back home. I want to make sure that she feels safe and that my children are safe. Every decision I make, I make with her.”
Owens continued by stating that his wife saw the efforts the company made and she said maybe it was time for him to go back to work because it’s what he loves to do. He stated that fans look forward to seeing him on TV and the company depends on him.
He noted that with the blessing of his wife, he went back to work. Once arriving at the tapings, it gave him hope and a sense of security.
“It’s been brought up—at first, the masks weren’t being taken seriously enough. Eventually, a fine system was implemented to make sure people took it seriously. That came from me. I thought that the masks weren’t being worn seriously enough, so I went and talked to the people in charge. They immediately did what they could to remedy the situation. I don’t blame anybody for the mask thing. It’s easy to forget how important those masks are. Some people just straight up believe that the masks don’t make a difference, and that’s their belief. But if we’re all going to work together and we’re all trying to keep each other safe, I think it matters.”
Owens continued, “If you’ve had somebody in your family affected by this the way my family was, it’s a lot easier to remember that these masks make a huge difference. These masks do make a difference, and I felt it was important for people to take that seriously. I was pleased that the company felt the same way and made sure to get the message out to everybody that this is a big deal. That’s why, in the end, I decided to come back. I feel comfortable going back to work, and I feel as safe as I can be there.”
Owens also talked about working with Seth Rollins and more. You can read the entire interview here.