September 25, 2013

Direct Kick: Does the WWE still believe in anti-bullying?

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — For the past couple of years World Wrestling Entertainment has been championing against bullying with its “Be a Star” campaign.

They made special appearances at schools with their superstars, talking to school children about the wrongs of bullying, to tell someone if you are being bullied, and bring an end to this sickness of bullying. Bullying has become a problem and I was thankful that the WWE was doing something to combat it.

But with the recent storyline actions of Ryback, Triple H or Stephanie McMahon-Hemsley I wonder, do they still believe in “Be a Star.”

Both Ryback and the Hemsleys have been bullying their way over superstars. Ryback beats up defenseless people backstage for no other reason than because he can. Stephanie is acting like an evil dictator (well, probably not acting), having The Shield or The Big Show do her bidding by beating up whoever she wishes, including a 68 year-old American Dream Dusty Rhodes.  And her husband, Triple H, does his best to keep up with her in the bullying department by having The Shield triple team whichever superstar he feels has crossed him. All for what they claim is “good for business.”


So what kind of message does this send to the young fans that were told to stand up to bullies? They are now seeing bullies getting the upper hand and throwing their weight around, all without consequences. Yes I understand that all three are playing heels right now. Heels, by nature, are bullies. That’s wrestling. Good versus bad.

But to me it just seems that, if you are going to do a campaign against bullying then you don’t make your characters such a blatant bully. I mean there’s no disguising what they are doing.

And young, impressionable fans see this. Now they are probably wondering if bullying is right or wrong. They are told one thing and shown another.

I know it’s up to parents to make sure their children are taught right from wrong. But children, whether we like to admit it or not, learn from copying what they see, especially on television. And right now those children who watch the WWE are learning how to be a bully. Plain and simple as that.

Why don’t you take your own advice, WWE, and Be a Star? Or was that just a bunch of hot air?