Dwayne Johnson recently spoke on the protests that swept the NFL this recent season, and what he'd do if he still played the game.
Dwayne Johnson doesn't cook up tempestuous storms the way he used to when he was The Rock on the wrestling circuit. When the topic of professional athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem came up in a recent Rolling Stone interview, he picked a neutral corner with his perspective.
The former wrestler turned actor said he would have refrained from kneeling or putting his fist in the air. But he also didn't have many kind words for President Trump, who took shots at NFL players in particular over their protests.
“I felt like our president’s responses were being dictated by the noise, and not the actual problem,” said Johnson. “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.”
Johnson has some empathy for the gridiron protesters on the athletic front, having briefly played professional football himself with the Calgary Stampeders in Canada, before opting for a wrestling career. In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, knelt down in protest over racial inequality and police brutality when The Star Spangled Banner was played and was so heavily criticized for his actions, the team let him go. He hasn't played professional football since. Other athletes followed up with protests of their own, including Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane as well as squads from the Los Angeles Raiders and Washington Redskins.
Johnson even went as far to say he "would either have knelt or raised my fist in solidarity," if he still played.
While the movie star admitted he didn't even vote in the last federal election, he's been talking to officials in both the Democrat and Republican parties as well as independents and political pundits about the possibility of throwing his hat into the ring.
If he does and even wins the top job, he'd be the second person in the U.S. to become an actor turned president, after Ronald Reagan. Other actors who became successful in politics include the late Sonny Bono, Love Boat actor Fred Grandy, and Dukes of Hazzard star Ben Jones (U.S. Representatives), Arnold Schwarzenegger (California governor) and ex-grappler and Predator actor Jesse Ventura (Minnesota governor).