World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) announced this past Monday that they will join forces for a multiyear national partnership.
The partnership between WWE and BGCA will support bullying prevention efforts and help create a safe environment for today’s youth through the Be a STAR program. Be a STAR is WWE’s anti-bullying initiative and its missions is to encourage young people to treat each other with respect through education and grassroots initiatives. Since 2011, WWE has held more than 100 anti-bullying rallies and Be a STAR’s resources and programs have reached more than 300,000 children globally.
To kick off their partnership, WWE and BCGA hosted a Be a STAR anti-bullying rally this past Monday at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami. Emceed by WWE broadcaster Renee Young, the rally featured appearances from WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, BGCA Vice President of Marketing Frank Sanchez, WWE Superstars Big Show, Darren Young, Kalisto, The Miz and Titus O’Neil and WWE Diva Naomi. With more than 150 boys and girls in attendance, the stars of the WWE told stories about how they could relate to bullying and tell the young audience different ways to handle it.
WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil, a former University of Florida football player and a BGCA alumni, said that being part of the partnership between WWE and BGCA is one of the greatest things he could get involved because of where he came from.
“It’s the perfect thing for me,” O’Neil said. “I’ve always valued character building organizations, as well as organizations that give back. I look forward to being at the forefront of some really cool stuff with the Boys & Girls Club through the partnership with WWE.”
For O’Neil, being a WWE Superstar is more than just performing in the squared circle in front of a live audience. He believes that he would be underserving his purpose if he only focused on entertaining in the ring.
“I think we should influence and use our great platforms that we have to not only entertain the masses, but also entertain the masses in regards to humanity and learning how to respect one another,” O’Neil said. “The anti-bullying campaign is simply about going out and being good people. Our motto (WWE’s motto) is to put smiles on people’s faces. We could do that in the ring sometimes, but for the most part, we want that to be done outside of the ring.”
Former WWE champion The Miz also believes that being a WWE Superstar is not just about being in the ring on Monday Night Raw or Thursday Night Smackdown.
“Being a WWE Superstar doesn’t teach you how to become a wrestler in the ring,
Miz said. “It teaches you about life in general. I could name a million examples, but something like this and doing a Be A Star event where we have the opportunity to educate kids about bullying prevention is a huge opportunity.”
He also appreciates how the BGCA help kids most in need in order for them to achieve a better future.
“I think it’s so cool that they bring kids out of bad areas and give them something to do,” Miz said. “They are given opportunities to play with other kids, to learn from other kids and to learn from their counselors and their coaches. I think the Boys & Girls Club does a tremendous job at that.”