WWE Superstar Titus O'Neil has been named a finalist for ESPN's 2021 Sports Humanitarian Awards.
The former WWE Tag Team Champion is in the running for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award presented by Dove Men+Care, which is given to an athlete "whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured positive impact on their community through sports. The candidate must embrace the core principles that Muhammad Ali embodied so well, including confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and respect."
Other finalists include Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and Minnesota Lynx shooting guard Layshia Clarendon.
The winner will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts. The finalists will be able to direct a $25,000 grant to the charity related to their award-winning efforts.
A Global Ambassador for WWE, O’Neil is a positive force as a father, philanthropist and champion of good. A product of sexual assault, O’Neil grew up in poverty, was bullied by others, constantly in trouble for fighting and labeled a “bad kid.” Because of the people who invested in changing the trajectory of his life, O’Neil is dedicated to giving back to the community that supported him and creating positive changes for those in need.
In an unprecedented year faced with hardships due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, O’Neil delivered hundreds of healthy food boxes to assist families, veterans and senior citizens. O’Neil also surprised five families in need with a new car and provided leadership to create food baskets and secure toys for more than 40,000 families during the holiday season. Additionally, in June 2020, he organized a multicultural Love Walk in Tampa to unite the community.
Due to his outstanding commitment, O’Neil was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as the Warrior Award recipient, an award given to an individual who exhibits unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with courage and compassion.
The winner will be announced during The 2021 ESPYs on Saturday, July 10, and will be featured during the Sports Humanitarian Awards.
The Sports Humanitarian Awards will take place on Monday, July 12, at The Rooftop at Pier 17, located within the Seaport in New York City, with a 90-minute television special airing on Saturday, July 24, at 2 p.m. ET on ABC. The Awards will be hosted by actor and author Taye Diggs.
The award ceremony will also feature the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, which "represents a sports club/team that demonstrates how teamwork can create a measurable impact on a community or cause," as well as the Corporate Community Impact Award, which "recognizes a corporation that utilizes their business platform and the power of sports to help advance a social issue, cause or community organization."
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplift the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, inclusive storytelling, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to espn.com/citizenship.