Friday, July 20, 2018
News Roundup

WWE’s Titus O’Neil wants to inspire kids with Marvel’s Black Panther

Thaddeus "Titus O’Neil" Bullard — former Gators defensive end, professional wrestler, philanthropist and all-around good guy — has seen a lot of things in his many careers.

But he’s never seen a movie like Black Panther, the latest Marvel superhero movie set to hit theaters Feb. 16.

He wants to help black children see the movie, too.

"I’m 40 years old and I’ve never seen a Marvel character that looked like me, as an African-American male," Bullard said.

"This will be the first time I’ve seen a superhero on screen that looks like me and I want kids to not only be able to see superheroes on the screen but also to view themselves as superheroes.

"If they see that on screen, then maybe they can be the next doctor or lawyer or president, whatever they can be. This could be a great teaching moment if we can get them into theaters."

FROM 2017: WWE’s Titus O’Neil wants kids to hear the same words that set him straight

He and Alicia "Joy" McDowell are working together on a Tampa Bay-focused part of the #BlackPantherChallenge, a nationwide movement to raise money to help children see the movie together.

Bullard especially wants to help children from low-income families who attend Title I schools because "those kids don’t get a lot of stuff."

Black Panther is the story of T’Challa, the superhero-king of the imaginary African nation of Wakanda, who was created in 1966 by comic book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Now it’s the latest superhero blockbuster from Marvel/Disney.

The movie Black Panther is a first in many ways: It’s Marvel’s first black superhero movie, cast mostly with black actors led by a black director.

So far Bullard said he and McDowell have raised enough money to take 500 kids ages 13-18 (sorry adults) to see the movie in theaters in Tampa, Brandon and Wesley Chapel. They’re hoping to raise money to send more kids across the bay area through a GoFundMe. AMC Theatres has waived the $500 fee to rent the theaters.

He said he’s talked to Tampa Bay Buccaneer Gerald McCoy about donating and also with organizations he regularly partners with such as the Hillsborough County School District, Metropolitan Ministries, United Way Suncoast and Academy Prep Center of Tampa, where he teaches a class.

To register, visit the Black Panther screening website.

Comments
No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space

No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Friday that his agency will not arrest a man deputies say shot and killed another man during an argument over a handicap parking space.The incident falls under Florida’s self-defense law kn...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Officials speak out against demolition plans for historic Jordan Park section

Officials speak out against demolition plans for historic Jordan Park section

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County School board chair Rene Flowers was fired up Friday. She talked about growing up in Jordan Park, the city’s first public housing project and a sentimental and historic marker of St. Petersburg’s African-American commu...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: NFL calls wise time-out on disciplining protests

The National Football League kept an embarrassing situation from becoming even worse by shelving its new policy clamping down on players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.The league announced late Thursday it would suspend the 2-month old p...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Iraqi interpreter whose citizenship fight was profiled in the Times to become an American

Iraqi interpreter whose citizenship fight was profiled in the Times to become an American

An interpreter who risked his life helping U.S. forces in Iraq then fought for two years to become a U.S. citizen will soon be an American.On Friday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service notified Haeder Alanbki, 36, that his request for citiz...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays dream big but follow trend in plans for smaller stadium

Tampa Bay Rays dream big but follow trend in plans for smaller stadium

TAMPA — When it comes to filling a ballpark, the Tampa Bay Rays are Major League Baseball’s perennial bottom-dweller.The team has finished last in average attendance the past six seasons at Tropicana Field. As of the All-Star Game, the season’s tradi...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Carlton: Rotary Clubs support no-women-allowed dinner. What year is this?

Going "stag" sounds so old-fashioned — boys night out, sans the gals.But it’s not so outdated in certain Rotary clubs in the Brandon suburbs and still rural Plant City. There, the decades-old no-women-allowed tradition of the yearly stag Wild Game Di...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs, Jensen reach out to fans as training camp approaches

Bucs, Jensen reach out to fans as training camp approaches

SARASOTA — The backdrop at University Park Country Club had a larger-than-life image of Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with one of the team's slogans for 2018: "JOIN THE KREWE."New Bucs center Ryan Jensen was on hand for a luncheon hosted b...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays open second half at home vs. Marlins

For starters: Rays open second half at home vs. Marlins

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Rays come out of the All-Star break with a three-game series against the Marlins. Here's the lineup for Tampa Bay, which dropped two of three to the Marlins in Miami:Kiermaier CFHechavarria SSBauers 1BRoberts...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida is still paying SunPass contractor, even after officials said they would stop

Florida is still paying SunPass contractor, even after officials said they would stop

Florida has not stopped paying the SunPass contractor responsible for the tolling system’s outage, even after transportation officials said the state would suspend all payments.In a letter on Monday, FDOT secretary Mike Dew said the state would not p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jaguars’ Dante Fowler suspended one game for 2017 arrest

Jaguars’ Dante Fowler suspended one game for 2017 arrest

Former Lakewood and Gators star Dante Fowler, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been suspended from the upcoming season opener for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy in a 2017 arrest in St. Petersburg.Fowler, 23, was arrested in his hom...
Updated: 3 hours ago