Dwayne Johnson: ‘I Would Either Have Knelt or Raised My Fist in Solidarity’ with NFL Anthem Protests

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is immortalized with a hand and footprint ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on May 19, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
Mark Davis/Getty Images

Actor and former wrestling star Dwayne Johnson insists that if he were in the NFL, he would have been one of the players protesting by raising a fist or taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

“I felt like our president’s responses were being dictated by the noise, and not the actual problem,” Johnson told Rolling Stone. He continued saying the protests were “a cry for help.”

“I think when human beings are in jeopardy, and they ask for help, good-quality human beings, whether locally or at the highest level of office, they help,” The Jumanji star said.

Johnson “would either have knelt or raised my fist in solidarity,” he says if he were in the NFL.

This isn’t the first time that Dwayne Johnson has spoken in favor of the protesting players.

In December, Johnson scolded President Donald Trump for his criticism of the players. The players, the actor said, just want “to be heard.”

“When the players are kneeling as a last resort, as a desire to be heard, clearly they’re not being heard. It’s an opportunity for our leaders, our president, and his staff, to hear them, truly hear them, and not be angry,” he told InStyle Magazine.

Johnson went on to criticize Trump for acting out of anger.

“What we’re in need of is a greater leadership that’s inclusive and truly hears the people and doesn’t have a knee-jerk reaction out of anger,” Johnson said. “Scenarios like this, while divisive, also clarify what we really want in the future. And we’ll have a chance in a few years to cast another vote, and we’ll see where the American people are when that time comes.”

In the new Rolling Stone interview, Johnson also tried to tamp down any rumors that he is looking to run for office, perhaps even president.

“I mean, look,” says Johnson, “people are very excited, and it’s so flattering that they’re excited. I think it’s also a function of being very unsatisfied with our current president. But this is a skill set that requires years and years of experience. On a local level, on a state level and then on a national level. I have the utmost respect for our country and that position, and I’m not delusioned [sic] in any way to think, ‘Oh, absolutely, if Trump can do it, I can do it, and I’ll see you in 20-whatever, get ready.’ Not at all.”

Besides – is it even a good idea? More than a year into our first celebrity presidency, most Americans would agree that it’s not going super great. Have we not learned our lesson? “I think in a lot of people’s minds, what Trump has proved is that anybody can run for president,” Johnson says. “And in a lot of people’s minds, what he’s also proved is that not everybody should run for president. What I’m sensing now is that we have to pivot back to people who have a deep-rooted knowledge of American history and politics and experience in policy and how laws get made. I think that pivot has to happen.”

Johnson did note, though, that he has met with various political operatives from both sides of the aisle to gauge a possible run for office at some time in the future.

“I entertain the thought and thank you. I’m so flattered by it. But I feel like the best thing I can do now is, give me years,” he concluded. “Let me go to work and learn.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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