The Rock defends Hulk Hogan, says he's 'paid the price' for racist rant

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The Rock says…Hulk Hogan isn’t racist.

The wrestler, better known these days as actor Dwayne Johnson, did say that he was “disappointed” after hearing Hogan had used the n-word in a number of conversations.

Johnson made the remarks earlier this week at the TV Critics Association in Los Angeles.

“I’ve known Terry for years,” Johnson said. “My dad helped train him in Florida in the 1970s, and even my uncle. I didn’t know him to be a racist. Not justifying what he said but we’ve all talked trash, especially in private, and he’s paid the price.”

Hogan’s contract with the WWE was terminated when news of the controversial audio emerged. He’s been all but erased from the WWE’s official website. He was removed from the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Hogan did issue an apology for his remarks, telling People:

Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.