Thaddeus Michael Bullard Sr. is an American professional wrestler and retired American football player. He is signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under the ring name Titus O’Neil. Bullard played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter played in the Arena Football League (AFL). His career as a professional wrestler began when he was part of the second season of NXT, and also competed in the show’s fifth season, NXT Redemption. He is a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion as part of The Prime Time Players with Darren Young.
“THE GREATEST HONOR A MAN CAN HAVE”
Thaddeus Bullard (Titus O’Neil)
Interview by Nicole Troup
Father’s Day has come and gone, but when I think of the power and influence a father can have on his children, the name Thaddeus Bullard comes to mind. You would assume for any successful celebrity, that honor and pride would come from fame, money and the status, but as I spoke with Thaddeus during our interview, the words that came from his lips were empowering. He proudly stated, “The greatest honor a man can have is simply being a father, given the opportunity to invest and be a loving example to your children that will have powerful and lasting effects.” His passion portrayed on WWE and in the wrestling ring undoubtedly extends into his personal life and fatherhood.
I am greatly influenced by Thaddeus’ character of love and faith which has led me to start a campaign with the intent of empowering fathers everywhere to be the best that they can be and simply take time for their children. The campaign offers two items for sale, a quoted T-shirt by Titus and an empowering painted portrait of him that not only exemplifies his image in the wrestling ring but signifies his empowerment that originates from his faith in God and love for his children and others.
Troup- You won celebrity Dad of the Year Award back in 2015, up against actors Stephen Amell, Ashton Kutcher, Vin Diesel, and soccer star David Beckham. How has this huge honor and your relationship with God influenced your relationship with your boys?
Bullard- My relationship with them hasn’t changed. My commitment to my kids has always been very important. I try to guide and discipline them being the best man and example that I can be. I live by example which is louder than words and think they’ve grasped onto that.
Troup- Thank you for taking time to be a part of my campaign “The Power of Fatherhood,” which encourages dad’s to make fatherhood a priority despite their busy careers. We will be selling t-shirts and artwork. The artwork is an original portrait of you that embodies faith and strength with an inspiring quote you want to use to impact fathers. How do you hope your involvement in this campaign will inspire other dads to make changes in their own journey of fatherhood?
Bullard- Be inspired by the fact that they are a father. Its a huge responsibility, but its also the greatest honor any man can have, so I encourage others to take advantage of that honor.
Troup: Do you believe that the next generation can be changed if dad’s would reevaluate their relationships with their children and become more involved?
Bullard- Yes, I do. The problem that we have in society is not based on resources alone but the lack of a positive father role model in many kids lives.
Troup: Tell me a little bit about your life growing up such as hardships or successes you’ve faced and how that has shaped your faith and the person you are today.
Bullard- My mom had me at twelve years old, because she was raped. Life was hard from the beginning. We lived in government housing and it felt like I was doomed for life because of the hard situation I came out of. I was angry, getting in trouble and had no fatherhood role model in my life. When I was 16 I was sent to an organization in Florida which benefited me tremendously. It gave me structure and there were people that loved and cared about me like I never felt before. When I turned 17, my mother disclosed to me how I was conceived through rape. This realization strengthen my relationship with my mother, replacing my anger with a new love and appreciation for her, because of the difficulties she faced raising me on her own.
Troup- Your outspokenness about your faith and sacrificial love to helping others has really inspired me as well as others. What current charities are you involved in and how do you make it a priority to help other’s in need?
Bullard- I’ve been a part of numerous charities that help with education, homelessness, youth services, breast cancer, pediatric cancer. People invested in me during my troubled times, so my whole purpose is to take my mess and testimony and turn that into something good by helping others. I want the things I do, to become a message to others. Sacrificial helping and loving others doesn’t depend on their race, domination, religion, politics and sexual-orientiation. It has to do with your heart. Anyone is capable of loving and helping each other despite their differences. I want to give to others the way others have done for me in my life. Giving back.
Troup- What is your biggest success in your career? What big events and future goals do you have planned for this year?
Bullard- Winning the WWE tag-team championship is my biggest career success. My future goals are to win the championship of the singles competitor in WWE.
Troup- You have a good friendship with Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the movie sequels Guardians of the Galaxy. How has your close friendship with Dave been a positive impact in your life?
Bullard- Bautista encouraged me to pursue my desires and got me involved in WWE. He has also made a big break in Hollywood inspiring me to possibly pursue it as well.