Vince McMahon is attracting a lot of public outrage for supposedly being “racist” after the former wrestler suspended a black wrestler Titus O’Neil for playfully grabbing his arm during a TV segment.
McMahon has reportedly suspended Titus O’Neil for three months. The action of grabbing McMahon’s arm while he was walking backstage after Daniel Bryan’s retirement ceremony on this week’s Monday Night Raw became the last straw for the suspended O’Neil.
WWE, the main governing body of wrestling, has described the suspension as one for “unprofessional conduct” by 38-year-old O’Neil, who is known for his numerous charity works and his charismatic media persona.
The punishment given to O’Neil by McMahon seems absolutely bizarre considering that the video did not air live on USA networks and was only viewable to by those tuning into the WWE Network after the show.
The punishment by McMahon will make O’Neil miss Wrestlemania 32 on April 3.
— facemunroe (@typegeno) February 10, 2016
The incident was censored out of the official video of WWE YouTube channel, but the tweet below contains the video details of the incident.
— P. (@chillin662) February 11, 2016
In the video, McMahon is casually walking up to the entrance ramp through a crowd applauding wrestlers who were lined up on the side when O’Neil reaches out his hand and grabs McMahon by the arm. It appeared if O’Neil was trying to hug McMahon.
Initially, it seemed like a normal day as McMahon’s response didn’t look angry at all. He also playfully shoved O’Neil and laughed at him but obviously, this gesture by O’Neil did not go too well for McMahon as he sidelined O’Neil and immediately sent him home from WWE’s Smackdown tapings in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday.
WWE is consistently accused of scripting the matches and the drama surrounding it, but this time WWE confirmed that the incident was in no way scripted and it will force Titus to watch the contests from the sidelines.
Outraged wrestling fans took to social media and launched attacks on Vince McMahon.
— Dymondz (@TheRealDymondz) February 10, 2016
— Michael Watkins II (@LunatikFringe87) February 10, 2016
WWE, however, defended Vince McMahon against the “racist” allegations. They stated that the punishment of O’Neil had nothing to do with his skin color.
WWE even claims that O’Neil has accepted the “gravity of the mistake” and apologized with a text message.
“I feel like sh** now so if you have to let me go, I understand. Stupid mistake.”
O’Neil is well known for his benevolence and was crowned “Celebrity Dad of the Year” last year by Mega Dads Awards. Recently, he completely surprised Tampa students by vising their class and rewarding them with free lunch and tickets to a local WWE event.
Twitter hashtags #blackwrestlersmatter and #Vinceisracist is trending on Twitter and sympathetic users have sided with Titus. The enraged wrestling fans are protesting with hashtags #FreeTitus and #SaveTitus
#SaveTitus Because it's not his fault that Vince McMahon is a grumpy out of touch old man who doesn't recognize talent
— Rogue illuminatus (@pmb527) February 11, 2016
It is not the first time Vince McMahon has been accused of being a racist. The Inquisitr reported on November, 2014 that Vince McMahon was using another black wrestler, Marc Henry, as a “token black”.
O’Neil was on an unbeaten streak after he broke up with his longtime tag team partner, Darren Young. The streak discontinued on Monday when he ended up losing with Adam Rose.
O’Neil had a philosophic response to the suspension. He took to Instagram after the incident and wrote:
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank).” Luke 14:11 #Blessed #ContentOfCharacter#Faith #Family #Community
O’Neil, along with John Cena, is considered to be among the most committed charity workers of the wrestling universe.
[Photo By Erika Goldring/Gettyimages]