— Titus O’Neil released a statement via social media today, addressing the rumors that he abruptly left the pre-Extreme Rules meeting where Hulk Hogan was scheduled to deliver his apology too the WWE locker room. Reports surfaced that O’Neil was upset that Hogan was even invited to the event and either refused to shake Hogan’s hand or didn’t stick around to hear what he had to say. O’Neil refutes these rumors in the statement below while also giving his thoughts on Hogan’s apology:
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