Wrestler Sammy Guevara has been suspended by All Elite Wrestling (AEW) after he joked he would sexually assault WWE star Sasha Banks.
Guevara made the comments in a podcast released in 2016 which has since been shared online.
In the audio, Guevara, 26, said: “Bro, Sasha Banks… oh my God.
“When I was at the WWE the other week I wanted to just go f****** rape that woman.”
He has apologised for his “stupid, inappropriate and extremely offensive comments” since they went viral, but AEW released a statement afterward announcing the star had been suspended.
The statement read: “AEW insists on doing our part to create a world of understanding and respect for humankind.
“We therefore strongly condemn the extremely offensive and hurtful words of Sammy Guevara. As such effective immediately, Sammy is suspended without pay until further notice.
“Sammy has agreed to undergo extensive sensitivity training and, upon completion, his future status within the company will be re-evaluated.
“During his suspension, his salary will be donated to the Women’s Center of Jacksonville.”
Guevara is one of AEW’s top stars, while Banks competes for rival brand WWE.
Banks released a statement of her own after revealing she had had a telephone conversation with Guevara regarding the comments.
She said in her statement: “Earlier I spoke with Sammy, he apologized and we had an open discussion.
“Words like the comments he made, jokingly or not, have absolutely no place in our society! I don’t condone or tolerate this kind of behavior.
“What one thinks is just a side comment can have a massive impact on someone else’s life, and can send the wrong message.
“We have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and the words we say, and I hope this situation shows him that.
“I hope from this point on, in order for growth and change within our community to take place, we all can continue to have these conversations.
No person, man, woman or child, should ever be subjected to a feeling of fear, or any unsafe environment.
“We all have to do better not just for ourselves, but for generations to come.”
Guevara had earlier tweeted two separate apologies, one of which was directed to Banks specifically.
He said: “I’ve made stupid, inappropriate and extremely offensive comments in my past.
“In my idiotic mind, I thought I was being funny in using words and terms that represent nothing but horror and pain.
“I am truly sorry for my hurtful words and actions, and I will never forgive myself.”
In the second he added: “I also want to apologize to @sashabankswwe for my unacceptable comments.
“She’s an amazing person who didn’t deserve to be the brunt of my offensive remarks.
“I spoke with her earlier & she helped me learn a gigantic lesson & I thank her for that. Once again, I’m sincerely sorry.”