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Update: When a newspaper in New York publishes a story blasting WWE over Titus O’Neil’s suspension, WWE pays attention.
WWE noted to the New York Post that O’Neil’s suspension has been reduced from 90 to 60 days, which means he would still miss WrestleMania.
WWE also issued a statement defending the company against racism allegations. “The suspension of Titus O’Neil had nothing to do with race and everything to do with unprofessional conduct,” WWE said in a statement to the Post.
O’Neil was originally suspended 90 days for an incident involving WWE CEO Vince McMahon at the very end of Daniel Bryan’s retirement ceremony Monday night on Raw.
O’Neil grabbed McMahon’s arm as Vince passed by to exit the stage, drawing in McMahon for a face-to-face moment. It’s unclear what Titus’s motivation was for grabbing McMahon’s arm. McMahon was caught off-guard as he spun around, but everyone around them seemed to take it as good-natured fun. But, McMahon was angered by it, prompting the suspension.
WWE edited the exchange off the YouTube version of Raw’s conclusion, which aired on WWE Network after the original broadcast went off the air on USA Network.
Hang in there @TitusONeilWWE – I feel in my heart that something good will come out of this.
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) February 10, 2016
Meanwhile, O’Neil spent his Wednesday in Las Vegas filming scenes for an upcoming episode of Animal Planet’s “Tanked.”
O’Neil’s close wrestling friend, Dave Bautista, chimed in on Twitter that he believes O’Neil should ask for his release from WWE.
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) February 11, 2016