Appearing on 4th & Pain, Titus O’Neil talks openly and in-depth about the reaction of the WWE locker room to Darren Young’s decision to reveal he was gay. He says the reaction has been “very positive.”
On Darren Young: “Darren is a great friend of mine away from the ring. I consider him a part of my family. My kids call him ‘Uncle Darren.’ They run, they play, they joke with him. For him to exhibit the courage that he did to go and discuss his sexual orientation to the world was a brave move to some, but to me is just an act of what type of man he is. You can only live behind certain people’s stereotypes or certain barriers in life for so long. At some point you have to say ‘man, to hell with it. I am who I am. I do what I do and I’m going to be who I want to be.’ ”
O’Neil says he’s know about Young’s sexual orientation for “a while,” but that it was irrelevant.
On how the reaction would be different in NFL locker room: “The football locker room and the WWE locker room are two completely different things.”
He says that unlike an NFL locker room where 53 players comprise a single unit, the wrestling locker room is constructed of more individuals which lends itself to “more shots” for backstabbing.
“If you play a position, you play a position. if you don’t play a position, you’re really not a threat. In WWE, everybody really plays the same position. Everybody is trying to be a WWE Superstar. So, whatever shot you can take, whether it be if a person is gay or not, they’re going to try to make something of it. Whereas in football, whether a person is gay or not it doesn’t matter. If they go out and make plays, they make plays. Period. I can assure you there are guys, whether they came out openly gay or not, there gay guys in NFL and college locker rooms.”