Titus O’Neil On Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, Randy Orton And More
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Titus O’Neil has been in the headlines lately due to his nomination for ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. In an interview with Andreas Hale of Sporting News, O’Neil discussed his philanthropy, his stance on peaceful protests and more. First, O’Neil emphasized the importance of the issues at the heart of recent nationwide protests, and how his “Love Walk” represents unity. “‘It’s not a one race issue, it’s a human race issue. Now we have the opportunity to walk in love and have this be a symbol that we are capable of great human beings,’” said O’Neil via Hale.
O’Neil also discussed why he appreciates being nominated for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. “‘‘If I ever got the opportunity to be in a position to be like someone, it would be him,’” said O’Neil via Hale. “‘He was very unapologetic about being a black man in America, very unapologetic about his faith and what he stood for. It’s an honor to be nominated for an award named after such a great individual.”’
The inaugural WWE 24/7 Champion also discussed the separation between his work in the ring and outside of it. “’It was long before I got into WWE when I realized that what I do for a living is not who I am,’” said O’Neil via Hara. “‘There should always be a separation because, at some point, what you do for a living is going to change. But who you are as an individual defines what you can contribute to any company, organization or community for the rest of your life. It’s your legacy. WWE is just another platform for me to be who I am.’”
Finally, O’Neil discussed how the Black Lives Matter movement has interacted with the WWE locker room and specifically reflected on Randy Orton’s growth regarding the matter. “‘We’ve had some very candid conversations and, to be honest with you, I love the fact that I can call him a friend,” said O’Neil via Hale. Over the last two years, I have seen him grow so much as a human being. He has been more open to listening and admitting that he didn’t get it at first.’”