In case you thought the only place WWE icon Stone Cold Steve Austin could destroy an opponent was the ring, check this out. A commenter on his Instagram account once learned that Austin isn't just a scary guy to face even in staged combat—he can flatten you with words, too. Especially if the subject touches on his sense of justice and fairness.
The original Instagram post was either deleted or is old and buried deep in Austin's very active account's archives.
The comment may have been a response to something Austin said in a 2015 interview with Ric Flair regarding inducting the Fabulous Freebirds—who frequently displayed the Confederate Flag in interviews and the ring—into the WWE Hall of Fame.
"Oh, no, piss on the rebel flag," Austin said to Flair. "That ain’t going to hurt their chances of getting into the Hall of Fame. Just because that was part of their gimmick back in the day, it should not impede their progress as far as being in the Hall of Fame."
Austin went on to suggest the WWE just remove any rebel flag imagery from Freebirds videos.
Fan April Vickery commented on his Instagram in the symbol's defense, using a defense many southerners have deployed in the past to evade the flag's racist legacy. "For us it wasn’t a sign of hatred or hate or ignorance," she wrote, "it’s a sign of Southern Pride a pride in who you are where you come from the people who come from the people you know stood for heritage lineage family and pride never stood for hate ever."
Stone Cold went full Texas Rattlesnake in response. He wrote his reply in all caps, but we'll turn down the volume to quote him:
That’s nice and all but if I recall it don’t matter what it means to you because to African Americans everywhere it’s a symbol of oppression, hatred and inequality so your little ‘heritage not hate’ story don’t mean shit because your stupid little heritage was built on the backs of slaves and identifying with that kinda sorta definitely makes you trash in the Texas Rattlesnake’s eyes. So you can continue to spew your bullshit but just know that none of us care ya dumb racist sumbitch and that’s the bottom line.
However old the exchange, It's likely Austin's reply came back up again in response to anti-racist and anti-police violence protests currently taking place around the world after the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who was captured on an excruciating nearly 9-minute video telling police he couldn't breathe before dying in custody.
Whatever the reason, it's a good reminder that not all Stone Cold Stunners happen in the ring.