WWE: Wrestlers showing public support on current social issues matters

WWE, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, The New Day (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
WWE, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, The New Day (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images) /

WWE wrestlers continue to show support on camera.

Many are watching around the world as the novel coronavirus forces millions to stay home amid a global pandemic. As if that is not enough, civil unrest has pushed the United States to a point that has not been seen since the 1960s. But the people see, even if they choose to ignore. And it is in that seeing that many professional wrestlers within WWE have made the effort to use their platforms to amplify the messages shouted in the streets. These gestures are vital at a time when the message must reach the most people possible.

On Monday’s edition of Monday Night Raw, former Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander appeared on screen with a Black Lives Matter armband in clear view of the camera. A few weeks earlier, the New Day wore similar armbands and even took a knee with their fists raised to show support for the movement. It is important for those who watch professional wrestling to see the athletes they look up to show their support through their actions.

In many ways, the undertones of the social upheaval comes because the minority community feels unheard and unseen. The chants of “Black Lives Matter” or “No Justice, No Peace” ring so loudly because those groups of people are tired at their outcries going ignored.

The challenges that minorities face today are very similar, if not the exact same that caused protests and riots decades ago. The current of systematic racism dating back to the days of slavery still pulls on society today.

Therefore, it is important to see celebrities use their platforms to show support. They do not have to be out front leading the masses like John Boyega, but acting where the masses can see them is key.

Take former WWE Universal and NXT Champion, Finn Balor, for example. Balor has four million followers on Instagram. Followers that have admired his career as it spanned continent after continent. Last week ,he allowed for musician God Knows to “takeover” his Instagram profile to spread information about the cause and social issues playing out before the public’s very eyes.

“Now more than ever, it is crucial that we work together. One way we can do this, is to listen and learn from the experience of others.” Balor posted. “I see the benefit in stepping aside and listening to other peoples and their experiences.”

Other wrestlers have taken the time to make similar moves to promote the challenges they are seeing on television and reading about on the internet. Doing so gives those stories an exposure that they potentially would not reach on their own. That is one of the key ways in which people in a position of privilege can show support for those who live in a very different world.

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A few weeks ago, the WWE released a weak statement of “support” that did not speak to the real challenges that need addressing in the United States. While no one should be surprised that the promotion struggled to really answer the call, its fantastic to see the wrestlers on the roster and others from across the industry continue to step up and fill in that void. Here is to hope that this trend continues and inspires the generations that are watching from around the world.