The Undertaker has paid tribute to those who died on 9/11 – and defended his view that it was the worst day in US history.
The 55-year-old legend took to social media on Friday to mark the 19th anniversary of the tragedies that claimed thousands of lives following attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania in 2001.
Undertaker, whose real name is Mark Calaway, said those lost and who made sacrifices should be “honored.”
But his view that the mass tragedy was the nation’s worst day in history was criticised on Twitter.
The iconic performer and staunch patriot, said: “Thousands of innocent Americans were taken from us 19 years ago today.
“In their memory, we should honor them, their families, the first responders, and American service men and women who protect us.”
He went on to add: “9/11…the worst day in American history, but it was the day that showed the world how great this country can be. Never forget.”
One wrestling fan appeared to take exception to the Texan’s view, stating that the nation had been forced to endure a million” other days of grief – to which The Undertaker hit back.
“…how was it the worst day in American history?” the fan asked.
“An awful day, yes. Traumatic, world-changing & horrific, yes. But I feel like it’s a stretch to put one day of grief in comparison to the other million days of grief this country has put in place.”
The multi-time former world champion, who has become renowned for his forthright opinions, retorted: “It’s my opinion. You don’t have to agree with it. We’re all entitled to one.”
The Undertaker’s use of social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram continues to surprise fans who’ve become accustomed to seeing so little of the man under the black hat and coat during his incredible 30-year career with WWE.
The stalwart of the squared circle effectively called time on his time as an active performer earlier this year after his match against AJ Styles at Wrestlemania in April.
The bout, a cinematic-style Boneyard March against Styles, who is generally regarded as one of WWE’s top current stars, received widespread acclaim.
"At this point in my career, I have no desire to get back in the ring,” he said in a documentary, The Last Ride, filmed shortly after the match.
"I’m at a point, it’s time this cowboy really rides away. There’s nothing left for me to conquer or accomplish."
One of WWE’s most memorable character creations, The Undertaker had debuted some 30 years earlier at the 1990 Survivor Series.
Stepping aside for a new generation of talent, he added: "The game has changed.
"It’s time for new guys to come up. The time just seems right. This documentary has helped me discover that and opened my eyes to the bigger picture and not judge myself as harshly these last few years."
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