Sen. Ted Cruz’s Wrestling Proposition Opens Old Sexual Assault Wounds

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has proposed resolving a Twitter feud involving Ron Perlman with a wrestling match. Cruz has proposed a match between the 70-year-old actor, known for his role as “Hellboy,” and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a former wrestling coach.

Cruz accompanied the proposal with a $10,000 bet on the outcome, in an early-morning tweet Monday. He sought to come to the aid of Jordan, whom Perlman had suggested was ugly as he sparred on Twitter with another GOP congressman.

Perlman objected to a tweet by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) criticizing a recent vote by the U.S. Soccer board of directors to repeal a policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem.

As part of his response, Perlman posted a photo of Jordan, writing, “You’re lucky for this guy, Matt. If it weren’t for him you’d be the ugliest politician walking.”

Then bearded Ted Cruz jumped into the mess.

“Listen Hellboy,” Cruz wrote, referring to a film role last played by Perlman more than a decade ago. “You talk good game when you’ve got Hollywood makeup & stuntmen. But I’ll bet $10k — to the nonpolitical charity of your choice — that you couldn’t last 5 min in the wrestling ring w/ @Jim_Jordan w/o getting pinned. You up for it? Or does your publicist say too risky?”

Perlman responded in kind, referring to episodes during the 2016 Republican primary contest in which then-candidate Donald Trump insulted Cruz’s wife and alleged that Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he killed the president.

“Wait, is this THEE Ted Cruz?” Perlman wrote. “Is this the same guy let little Donnie call his wife A dog and his father an assassin and now kisses his ass?”

Perlman then suggested that instead of wrestling Jordan, he wrestle Cruz and offered to give $50,000 to Black Lives Matter if Cruz accepted.

Thin Ice

Perlman said the suggestion that he wrestle Jordan was “problematic.”

This was an apparent reference to former wrestlers having accused Jordan of turning a blind eye to sexual abuse by a team doctor when he was an assistant coach at Ohio State University.

However, Jordan has repeatedly denied such claims.

Six former OSU wrestlers recently stated that they were present when Jordan heard or responded to sexual misconduct complaints about team doctor Richard Strauss.

Eight others say Strauss’ inappropriate behavior was an open secret in the athletic department and that Jordan, among others, must have known about it.

An independent report was commissioned by the university and it concluded last year that Strauss “sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients” between 1979 and 1998.

The doctor died by suicide in 2005.

A number of lawsuits have been filed against OSU over allegations related to Strauss. In March, OSU announced that it reached a monetary settlement with Strauss’ victims in 11 out of 18 pending cases.

In a tweet later Monday morning, Cruz made no mention of Perlman’s counter-offer.

“I get it, you’re rich. But, apparently, soft,” the senator wrote of Perlman. “You sure seem scared to wrestle Jordan (whom you keep insulting). Can’t take the heat? Need to get a manicure?”

Politics are like sports, highly competitive and based in strategic alignments. Between Cruz, Jordan and the political laymen in Perlman, the trio’s faux smoke has definitely brought the circus into the game.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.