World Wrestling Entertainment and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced on Monday, Jan. 25 that they have joined forces for a 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 (Show Tolerance And Respect) is WWE’s anti-bullying initiative, and its mission is to encourage young people to treat each other with respect through education and grassroots efforts. 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 on Monday, Jan. 25 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.
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With more than 150 boys and girls in attendance, the stars of WWE shared their stories related to bullying and different ways to handle it.
WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil, a former University of Florida football player, is a BGCA alum.
“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 Clubs 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.
“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 [WWE] 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 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 BGCA helps kids.
“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 Clubs do a tremendous job at that.”
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide.
They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
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WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages.
WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 175 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
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