Titus O'Neil clears the air.
This past Sunday it was announced by WWE that former 6-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan was being reinstated into the WWE Hall Of Fame after being on the outs with the company following the racially charged comments that he was recorded making. It was then reported by various outlets that Hogan was flown into Pittsburgh and brought to the PPG Paints Arena where the 'Extreme Rules' PPV was being held so that he could speak with the roster.
It has been confirmed by wrestlers who were a part of this meeting that there was a meeting that was set up before 'Extreme Rules' where Hogan spoke to the roster and explained his wrongdoings and alerted them to not follow in his footsteps in this particular situation. The New Day released a statement yesterday which detailed their thoughts on the situation and the meeting with Hulk Hogan.
Another WWE talent who backed New Day's statement was former WWE Tag Team Champion Titus O'Neil. Rumors made the rounds that O'Neil walked out of Hogan's meeting with the roster and O'Neil took to social media today to explain that those rumors are completely false and he did not cause a scene in any manner during the meeting. After making that point clear O'Neil went on to share his feelings and thoughts on the situation at hand along with explaining that Hogan's reinstatement will not interfere with him continuing to be a role model for his two sons, those around the world, and the WWE Universe who he will continue to entertain whenever he has the opportunity to do so.
To my gracious fans and the WWE Universe.
The reports and rumors concerning my boycotting "Extreme Rules" in Pittsburgh is false and inaccurate. I was not scheduled to attend or be a participant in the "Extreme Rules" match/production and was otherwise not booked for the show.
The talent present in Pittsburgh, which I was a part of, was asked to attend a mandatory meeting in which Mr. Terry Bollea addressed everyone and informed the same that he would be reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. At no point during, after or otherwise did I make any scene concerning Mr. Bollea's communication to the talent. In addition, let it be known that I did not refuse to shake Mr. Bollea's hand; we did not have any type of one-on-one interaction whatsoever that would or did necessitate any exchange between us individually.
As to the reinstatement of Mr. Bollea, I can only communicate that I am a proponent of second and even third chances for individuals that show true remorse, acknowledgment of wrongdoing, fulfill their punishment, if applicable, and otherwise put forth sincere efforts to correct the issues.
Unfortunately, I must echo the sentiment and dissatisfaction expressed by many of my fellow contemporaries concerning Mr. Bollea's apology and its lack of true contrition, remorse and a desire to change. Mr. Bollea's apology "that he didn't know he was being recorded" is not remorse for the hateful and violent utterances he made which reprise language that has caused violence against blacks and minorities for centuries.
I stand firm in my position that Mr. Bollea is entitled to reinstatement; he was and is a role model, hero and icon to countless people. I hope that Mr. Bollea's missteps in communicating to the WWE talent in Pittsburgh are not repeated to his fans and I expect that he shall pursue an agenda that clearly communicates to all third parties that his language was inappropriate, wrong and should not be tolerated in a civilized and inclusive society.
As the father of two young black men, I have spent their entire life and the majority of my adult life with a singular focus; being a role model for my children and young black boys and girls. I take tremendous pride in my charity work and the community outreach programs that I have fostered via the platform I have been given. I teach my sons love and tolerance for everybody, but I also teach them to operate in truth and respect.
I hope this clears up any confusion. I, like New Day, will continue to use my platform to positively affect, entertain, embrace, celebrate and love people from all backgrounds both inside and outside of the WWE Universe.
Thaddeus Bullard aka Titus O'Neil