Kevin Owens confirms he raised face masks related concerns to WWE officials in a new interview and says he pushed for them to enforce a policy on the matter behind the scenes.
Speaking with ESPN’s Arda Ocal, Owens talked about telling WWE he was going to be staying at home due to COVID concerns after WrestleMania and how they were extremely receptive.
He also told ESPN that he did, in fact, push the company to enforce a face mask policy as reported.
“The company’s never made me feel like my career or my spot or anything like that could be in jeopardy,” Owens told the publication. “It’s the same here with this situation. I tell them how I feel, they respect how I feel. Even with the mask, that could be seen as something kind of small, right? But it wasn’t. I brought them my concern, and it was immediately taken very seriously.”
According to Pat Laprade of the Les anti-pods de la Lutte podcast (transcription courtesy POST Wrestling), Owens told Vince McMahon at the July 3rd taping that he was uncomfortable with people being too close to each other and the lack of masks being worn.
Owens has been vocal on social media about people wearing face masks in public due to his wife’s grandfather recently passing away after contracting COVID-19.
According to Laprade, McMahon then asked Owens if he thought fines would work in establishing some sort of policy. Kevin reportedly responded saying he once got fined for cursing on SmackDown, and it proved to be a good deterrent because it stopped him from doing it again in the future.
WWE instituted a face mask policy afterwards where people at the PC would be fined $500 for their first offense of not wearing a mask and $1000 for each time thereafter.
“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,” he additionally told Sports Illustrated. “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.