Titus O'Neil discusses his conversation with Lars Sullivan.
Earlier this week, Titus O'Neil applauded Lars Sullivan for seeking him, and other members of the WWE roster, out and apologizing for his past comments. Lars has come under fire recently as past discriminatory comments made on a bodybuilding forum were brought back to light. Sullivan issued a public apology on the matter as well.
Appearing on the Edge & Christian Pod of Awesomeness, O'Neil detailed his conversation with Lars.
"Lars sought me out. And he sought other people out. I sat with Lars for about 35-minutes in talent relations, just me and him. I saw a man that clearly, number one, made mistakes in his choice of words and his mindset and how he expressed himself years before he became a co-worker of mine," said Titus. "People automatically called for him to be fired, called for him to be ostracized, etc.... My thing is number one, people change. If that's who he really is, then yeah, he has no place in any profession whether it be professional wrestling or wherever. He doesn't deserve to live a life of luxury or live a life of grace if he chooses to be that person. But I looked a man that was humble. Very apologetic. Very....misguided, as well. We dwelled and talked about some things. Not to say, there's ever an excuse but until you know somebodies story and until you know somebody personally, you can't take it personally and you can't come up with your own conclusions because there is a conclusion and there is a reason why people get to a certain point and do certain things."
Sullivan was fined $100,00 by WWE for his comments but has continued to appear on television. He is currently in the middle of a monster push. Titus believes that Lars will learn from his mistakes and be better for it moving forward.
"I believe in my heart that this situation with Lars will be a teachable moment for everybody, from all walks of life. I'm willing to put my name on this situation just going with my gut and my heart simply because of how he came to me as a man. And how he came to other people as a man and said, 'Look, man, I don't have any answers. I don't have any excuses. I just want to be a better human being.' As a man, to sit down with another man in that circumstance, you have my upmost respect. He could have easily evaded me. He could easily let the company deal with it, whatever way they were going to deal with it and not said a word. He chose to go a different route," recalled Titus.
"I am hoping that my gut is right. I'm going to do my best to help him, not get past this, but actually learn from it. Learn why what he said was offensive to people of color and people of certain sexual orientation, and the list goes on. But I also want him to utilize this opportunity to grow other people around him. Maybe, people, he grew up with. Maybe his mom and dad, brothers, whatever. Everybody can learn from this based on how he responds to it. I feel it's going to be a very positive outcome. When it comes to people making mistakes, people making bad judgment calls, not one person on this earth is perfect, including me"
While Lars' comments were made before he signed with WWE, the company was able to fine him due to a clause put in standard WWE contracts. You can find more information on that clause by clicking here.