Kevin Levrone reacts to Robby Robinson’s previous statements about racism in pro bodybuilding and specifically from Joe Weider.
In July 2020, Robby Robinson candidly discussed with Generation Iron his past experiences with racism in pro bodybuilding. Specifically, he shared personal stories of times that Joe Weider had made racist statements and refused to give Robinson a contract due to the color of his skin. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Kevin Levrone contradicts Robinson’s statements – claiming he had never seen, heard, or experienced racism from Joe Weider or anyone in the pro bodybuilding federation.
The world is in a turbulent time right now for a variety of reasons. But one big reason comes in the form or racial justice in the United States. After the death of George Floyd, protests have been ongoing throughout the country as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to push for change. This is an issue that affects all regions of the country and all industries in our culture. Bodybuilding is no different. And while this issue has been especially in the forefront of news this past year, it’s simply the tip of a large iceberg dating back generations.
This is why Robby Robinson spoke up about his experiences with racism during his time as a pro bodybuilder. He realized that his experiences decades earlier didn’t seem very different than the conversation being had by activists and protesters today. While Robinson stands by his statements about racism in pro bodybuilding – he also admits that shortly after his time black bodybuilders started getting Weider contracts. He couldn’t speak for eras past his time. He could only speak of his personal experience as he saw it.
That’s why while speaking with Kevin Levrone, we wanted to get his opinion on Robby Robinson’s statements. Levrone had a close relationship with Joe Weider before he passed. If there was anyone who may had seen or heard inappropriate racist comments, it would be Levrone.
Yet according to Kevin Levrone, he had never seen, heard, or experienced himself any acts of racism in pro bodybuilding. Not from Joe Weider or any other representative of the federation.
Kevin Levrone paints a clear picture during our interview:
“I’ve never experienced anything like that man… Not once have I ever, ever in my entire life anywhere heard him say, heard him mistreat anyone or made me feel like I was less than anyone else because of the color of my skin.”
Robby Robinson’s career started far earlier than Kevin Levrone’s. So perhaps Robinson’s initial statements don’t directly contradict Levrone’s experiences. Robinson was the first to admit that he saw things change from afar after multiple black bodybuilders earned Weider contracts and went on to win the Mr. Olympia. Despite that, Robinson doesn’t believe that it changes the experiences he faced during his time as a pro bodybuilder.
You can watch Kevin Levrone’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.