As noted, WWE announced on Tuesday that Lars Sullivan was fined $100,000 for the controversial comments he made on an online message board, some since he was hired by the company, but most were made a few years back. Lars will also be undergoing sensitivity training.
It was the pressure from sponsors that led to WWE taking action on Lars over the racist and homophobic remarks. We noted before how a fan revealed on Reddit that they contacted the Mars candy company, a top WWE sponsor, and that Mars said they had reached out to WWE about taking action. Apparently multiple sponsors contacted WWE over the comments, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. WWE then felt like they had to publicly take action. WWE did not want to fire Lars, which is why they may have felt like they had to take a really strong action against him.
There has been a lot of speculation on if the fine is real. Meltzer reports that the fine is legitimate and Lars will be paying the money. There may have been bigger fines in the past, but this would be the second-biggest fine that has been made public, tied with the $100,000 that Batista was hit with for blading in 2005 when he wasn’t supposed to. WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin was fined $250,000 for walking out in 2002. The fine was originally to be $650,000, but he negotiated it down to $250,000.