theGrio’s 100: Darren Young, pro wrestler, bodyslams stereotypes

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Who is Darren Young?

Darren Young is a professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment.

He is one half of the popular tag team known as ‘The Prime Time Players.’ He’s been wrestling professionally since he was a teenager. Young and ring partner Titus O’Neil are on the cusp of earning their first tag team championship in the WWE.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

Young, whose real name is Fred Rosser, made headlines last August when he revealed to a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport that he was gay. In that very moment, Young became the first openly gay professional wrestler in history.

The WWE offered its full support of Young’s announcement almost immediately. He told NBC ‘TODAY’ anchor Matt Lauer he was “terrified” to open up about his sexuality, until recently:

“I’ve been suppressed in these feelings for so long in my life,” he said. “I just need to be happy. To the day I’m six feet under, I will always say ‘I want to be happy.’ And I’m happy now.”

Young supports the NOH8 Campaign, which promotes marriage, gender and human equality. He’s said on many occasions he thinks his ‘coming out’ will help other young men who may be afraid to talk about being gay to friends or family.

What’s next for Young?

Young, whose alias in wrestling is “Mr. No Days Off,” looks to move up the WWE ladder in 2014 and earn a shot at becoming tag team champions along with O’Neil.

Towleroad named Young one of the 53 ‘most powerful coming outs of 2013.’ This month, the WWE will launch its own network and the Prime Time Players could be tapped to provide content.

PTPTV anyone?

Follow Darren Young on Twitter @DarrenYoungWWE