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John “Bradshaw” Layfield will be stepping down from his post as a weekly announcer on WWE SmackDown.
Layfield announced his decision to walk away from the WWE television program on Twitter:
“After much consideration, I will be stepping back my weekly role as Smackdown Announcer to dedicate more continuous time on the work I have done since 2010 with at risk kids and communities. My new schedule will allow me to continue to be a part of the WWE family and also continue my work that I feel is the most important thing in my life. I will continue my 20+ year relationship with WWE and will appear on such marquee shows as Tribute to the Troops, WrestleMania, amongst others.”
JBL has been part of the SmackDown commentary team since the WWE draft in July 2016. He was most recently part of a three-man team that included Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton.
The former WWE champion faced bullying allegations involving former SmackDown and current NXT lead announcer Mauro Ranallo earlier this year. He said in a statement to Newsweek‘s Tufayel Ahmed that “WWE addressed my behavior and I responded accordingly.”
Layfield has been a near-constant presence in WWE since 1995. He retired from in-ring competition at WrestleMania 25 in 2009 but returned to the company as an announcer in 2012.