John Cena Stars in Intelligent, Inclusive Video on What Patriotism Means in 2016
John Cena is a very popular American man, using his fame as a WWE champion to propel a career that's included rap albums and roles in film and TV. And on Monday, July 4, he used his platform to ask people to consider what patriotism means to them in 2016.
"Celebrate the diversity that makes America, America," read a caption to a video posted on Cena's Facebook page. "Share this video to show #WeAreAmerica."
The video, which was also shared across the WWE's social channels, finds Cena strolling the streets of Tampa, Florida's Ybor City neighborhood.
"Patriotism," Cena says to the camera. "It inspires passionate debate, and it's worn like a badge of honor for good reason: because it means love and devotion for one's country....Love. For a word that's designed to unite, it can also be pretty divisive."
Cena encourages people to think about "what really makes up this country of ours? What is it we love...it's the people." He asks viewers to picture the average American: "How old are they? What's their hair like? How much can they bench?"
Those who presume the average American looks like white, male, musclebound John Cena soon get a reality check: He goes on to point out that women are the country's gender majority at 51%, and millions of U.S. residents are disabled people, people over 65 or people of Asian descent — sharing literally NO characteristics with John Cena at all!
Sure, the video's execution is a tad broad; as Cena shares his stats, examples of the people he's referring to show up on the street behind him as if by coincidence. But in a year full of fear-based election rhetoric and the xenophobia it's provoked in some Americans, the message is a badly needed one.
"This year, patriotism shouldn't just be about pride of country," Cena says toward the clip's conclusion. "It should be about love. Love beyond age, disability, sexuality, race, religion, and any other labels. Because the second any of us judge people based on those labels, we're not really being patriotic, are we?"
The Ad Council-produced spot has already racked up over 7 million views on Cena's Facebook page and 731,000 views on their own YouTube video, with the amount of likes blessedly larger than those of the dislikes (2,690 people hate the very concept of loving everyone, apparently). The video has also opened the eyes of certain internet writers who may have previously underestimated Mr. Cena's intelligence (ahem), who will do their absolute best to not make fun of his terrible raps or spinning WWE belts ever again.
Watch Cena and the Ad Council's message below.
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