LOS ANGELES - WWE Superstars, Divas, WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon, rocker James Durbin of “American Idol” fame and others brought the be a STAR Alliance’s anti-bullying message to the WWE Universe before SummerSlam! (PHOTOS)
First stop: Los Angeles’ Markham Middle School, where Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, McMahon and Durbin joined be a STAR celebrity correspondent Micah Jesse, The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, Ryan Ochoa of “iCarly,” Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. They spoke to 500 sixth, seventh and eighth graders at a be a STAR rally Friday morning. Markham’s student body includes 70 percent Hispanic and 30 percent African-American students.
“It’s hard to measure how much of an affect be a STAR has had on the children of the WWE Universe,” McMahon stressed. “However, if it’s been able to help only one child, then it makes all of the effort worth it.”
McMahon encouraged those bullied, “Know that you are not alone. There are many WWE superstars, many celebrities, a lot of successful people who have been victims of bullying. You can overcome it. You can stand up against it.
“Be a STAR is such an incredibly important message for me,” McMahon explain. “I have three young girls, and teaching them about bullying, how to stand up against bullying and providing them with all the tools necessary to do just that is incredibly important to me.”
A child is bullied every seven minutes, whether it’s cyber, physical or verbal bullying. Through WWE and The Creative Coalition’s campaign, children around the globe are encouraged to “be a STAR: Show Tolerance And Respect.”
Mayor Villaraigosa was the first to address the students. “Fists hurt, but so do words,” the Mayor stated, and also noted that “being a good student and being a good person is speaking up and speaking out against bullying.”
Then, the Superstars took the stage to share their personal stories about being bullied and to stress the importance of ending bullying.
“It’s always good for WWE to get out in the community,” Mark Henry expressed. “We don’t just come in and do a show. We want to be involved.” The World’s Strongest Man inspired the students by directing them to “achieve your dreams at all costs. Pick something that you love and pour your heart out into it. And don’t let anyone deter your goals.”
Former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio also related to the children. “Be proud of being you. You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid,” Del Rio urged before acknowledging a similarity between himself and the student body. “I know I talk different. I know I look different. I’m from a different place. I’m from Mexico.” The children cheered, and Del Rio responded to the ovation by addressing the crowd in his native Spanish.
James Durbin of “American Idol” echoed the earlier sentiments of the day by saying, “To me, being a star isn’t necessarily about being on TV or being a world champion. It’s about being a good person.” He then left the stage, and partied with students in the audience.
“This is a great opportunity today to get an important message to kids,” Congresswoman Sanchez explained. “Everyone knows about SummerSlam in the California area. We are pleased WWE is here and wants to be supportive.”