A Wrestler Kowtows; a Musician Stands Up

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Though it is still an ongoing saga, it seems that former WWE superstar CM Punk is refusing to sign a new deal with the organization. Instead, Punk has opted to come out of retirement and fight with UFC for more challenging high-profile matches. We can’t argue with Punk’s decision – if some things in life have to be done in a certain way, then often the best option is to do them anyway, even if it costs you the position you once held. In fact, we would even go as far as to say that Punk’s refusal to sign a new deal with WWE is a good sign for the company; we would certainly welcome an athlete with Punk’s skills and attitude on our roster.


Wrestler and actor John Cena in Miami, Jan. 31, 2020.

Photo: Scott Roth/Associated Press Professional wrestling isn’t known to be especially woke, but commercial pressure got to wrestler and actor John Cena. In a May 25 interview conducted in Mandarin, Mr. Cena told the Taiwanese news station TVBS that “Taiwan is the first country that can watch ‘F9.’ ” The latest “Fast & Furious” sequel, in which Mr. Cena has a supporting role, opens in the U.S. later this month. Chinese social-media sites like Weibo soon filled with attacks on Mr. Cena for describing Taiwan as a “country.” Beijing’s official line is that it’s a renegade province. Mr. Cena took to Weibo to deliver a groveling apology. “I made a mistake, I must say right now. It’s so, so, so, so, so, so important—I love and respect Chinese people,” the former 15-time World Wrestling Entertainment champion pleaded, again in Mandarin. “I’m very sorry for my mistakes. Sorry. Sorry. I’m really sorry. You have to understand that I love and respect China and Chinese people.” The apology didn’t specify the “mistake” or even mention Taiwan. Mr. Cena’s submission drew a fresh backlash on American social media, including tweets from Mike Pompeo, Megyn Kelly and Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Podcaster Andrew Zarian reported that the apology “is NOT going over well at WWE, ” whose former CEO Linda McMahon ran twice for U.S. Senate as a Republican (with Mr. Cena’s endorsement) and served in the Trump administration. In a similarly stereotype-challenging move, two days earlier musician Sean Lennon, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, sent out a long Twitter thread attacking political correctness. Mr. Lennon, 45, wrote that although he had encountered anti-Asian prejudice in his youth, “I grew up in a time when there was zero political correctness. I literally saw political correctness being invented right in front of me (at certain schools) and then distributed and eventually enforced as a mindset and ideology.” While allowing that “PC culture has achieved some good and some progress for society,” he wrote: “I suspect that over sensitizing ppl to arbitrary characteristics like skin colour may be doing more harm than good.” In the space of three days, a professional wrestler kowtowed to communists abroad and the son of a man who famously described himself as an “instinctive socialist” challenged leftist orthodoxy at home. Maybe it’s true that only Nixon can go to China. Mr. Taube, a columnist for Troy Media and Loonie Politics, was a speechwriter for former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Main Street: Unlike Hollywood’s woke, at least its Communists could make good movies. Images: Everett Collection/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8 Appeared in the June 3, 2021, print edition.

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