Lars Sullivan

Yesterday, professional wrestling news sources confirmed the release of WWE Superstar Lars Sullivan.

Sullivan (real name Dylan Miley) has been a hotbed of controversy. His call up to the main roster in 2019 as the next big monster heel seemed to be dead on arrival due to his various scandals and injuries.

At the beginning of his main roster run, Lars suffered a setback after an anxiety attack derailed a Wrestlemania feud with WWE legend John Cena. But instead of debuting at the Royal Rumble in January, he showed up on WWE TV in April of 2019.

A month after his official debut, Some of Sullivan's old posts on a bodybuilding forum surfaced. WWE issued Lars a $100,000 fine for his homophobic, sexist, and racist comments. He apologized for his previous hate speech and underwent sensitivity training.

According to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer, Lars's release came after he no-showed a TV taping. But why didn't WWE terminate Sullivan's contract after his initial offense?

The answer is because Vince McMahon will turn a blind eye to a wrestler's repugnancy if he deems them a valuable asset to his vision. McMahon only feels compelled to discipline a coveted member of his roster if it keeps sponsors and shareholders happy.

WWE has a storied history of looking the other way when a top superstar violates company policy or breaks the law. They've been very transparent when some of their employees have done so, but they've consistently made exceptions for wrestlers who were big earners and upper management favorites.

For example, in 1983, WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was the prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. Despite not being charged until 32 years after Argentino's death, Snuka's involvement in such a tragic ordeal should've been grounds for dismissal.

But his popularity amongst fans of the then-WWF was too valuable for the company, both literally and figuratively. Snuka was a recurring act in WWE until his death in 2017.

Jimmy Snuka and Nancy Argentino

Jimmy Snuka

In June 2020, NXT Superstar Velveteen Dream became one of the many wrestlers hit with claims of sexual abuse during professional wrestling's #SpeakingOut movement. Dream (real name Patrick Clark Jr.) allegedly sent nude photos of himself to a minor.

WWE removed Velveteen Dream from television pending an investigation — only for him to return to TV two months later. He, like Sullivan, is another superstar that the higher-ups believe to be the future of the business.

Now, according to the dirt sheets, Dream's days in WWE are coming to an end. The level of controversy surrounding his presence in the company doesn't seem to be going away as they intended. Had WWE ripped the band-aid off and released him in June of last year, there wouldn't be a need to do so now.

Velveteen Dream

Sullivan's long-overdue release only highlights WWE's repeated avoidance of accountability. They pride themselves on being a company that celebrates inclusion and diversity but have dawdled to remove employees who haven't done so and who've done worse.

Moving forward, WWE has to remove its biases when penalizing popular superstars. Keeping a problematic superstar on the roster may pay-off in the short term, but it will cost Vince McMahon so much more in the long run.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

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The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.

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