Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Honors His Heroes with the People’s Champion Award

Dwayne The Rock Johnson received the Peoples Champion Award.

Nathan Congleton

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson received the People’s Champion Award.

Oliver Duna, Reporter

At the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, special guest Jeff Bezos honored Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson with the People’s Champion Award, commending his achievements, work ethic, pancake eating abilities, and “his choice to show unwavering kindness to everyone around him.”

After receiving the award, Johnson decided to share a story about meeting with the original people’s champion, Muhammad Ali. Johnson got to meet his hero when he was wrestling for WWE, with Ali’s family in the venue. Johnson would call himself and was known by the audience as “the people’s champion”, and the nickname was also used by Ali during his boxing career. Backstage, Johnson consulted Ali and his wife, saying “I call myself the people’s champion out of respect. If he doesn’t like it, I will not do it.” Ali’s wife told Johnson, “He told me to tell you, you are the people’s champion, you’ve earned it, you take that title.”

To Johnson, the nickname has not lost its meaning over the years. In his perspective, the people’s champion means that “you treat people good, you treat people kind, you take care of people, you’re inclusive of people, all people, all colors, doesn’t matter.” He doesn’t let his words go to waste and decides to give his People’s Champion Award to a Make-A-Wish recipient.

A teenager known as Shushana, who survived cancer and wished to be at the People’s Choice Awards, was honored by Johnson with heart-warming words and the award. “I told her how proud I was of her story. She is a fighter, she has inspired her family and friends. I want to tell you just how much you’ve inspired me and everyone around you and certainly everyone here.” After honoring the survivor with the People’s Champion Award, Johnson left by saying “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”