John Cena is the face of a new campaign that celebrates diversity in the US: 'That's pretty much how I define American patriotism'

Courtesy of SKYY VodkaJohn Cena pledges allegiance ‘to giving back, civil discourse, and the freedom to live your best life’ in a new video.
  • John Cena is the newest face of SKYY Vodka’s “Proudly American” campaign, which aims to celebrate representation and innovation.
  • In a new video titled “The Pledge,” which INSIDER is debuting here, Cena narrates a modern and progressive take on The Pledge of Allegiance.
  • “I am a proud patriot, and I think a patriot first, above all,” he told INSIDER. “An embrace of diversity [is] pretty much how I define American patriotism.”

John Cena is convinced that “any person who breathes air” in the United States is entitled to equal treatment, “regardless of race, creed, colour, sexual orientation, religion” – and he’s not interested in debating it.

“You can argue anything. And you can use political rhetoric to pull anything into your gravity if you want,” he told INSIDER. “But if people care to politicize [diversity], which is written into the very fibre of what the United States of America stands for, if they want to make an argument out of it, then I don’t want to be a part of that argument.”

Cena recently partnered with SKYY Vodka for its “Proudly American” campaign to promote this very idea.

His is the latest voice in a growing list of partners, including Olympian Gus Kenworthy; artist and activist Kimberly Drew; and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” talents, Trixie Mattel and Dusty Ray Bottoms.

Trixie Mattel skyy vodka campaignSKYY Vodka/YouTubeTrixie Mattel starred in a ‘Proudly American’ video that debuted in June, LGBT Pride Month.

For the WWE star, the decision to get involved with the campaign now wasn’t tied to political strife or topical issues – but instead because it “supersedes political debate.”

“I was really drawn to the fact that it was titled ‘Proudly American.’ I am a proud patriot, and I think a patriot first, above all,” he told us, adding that an embrace of diversity is “pretty much how I define American patriotism.”

“I think it’s a message that’s not only good now, but it’s good anytime and anywhere,” he said. “I think, no matter what the situation – if it’s hard political times or if it’s everybody playing nice together – the message of embracing diversity is important every single day, no matter where you are on your history timeline.”

Cena narrates “The Pledge,” the newest chapter of SKYY Vodka’s campaign, helmed by award-winning female director J.J. Adler.

The “Blockers” actor is prominently featured throughout the video as he lists classic various ways in which people can be “proudly American,” such as “writing your own history” and “giving back.”

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Of course, Cena himself may not be the typical picture of diversity – but he believes that anyone who criticises his role in the campaign is “missing the message.”

“If someone criticises my race or my sexual orientation and their comment is that I’m now allowed to embrace diversity, that’s very closed-minded,” he said. “Because if you do that, you essentially aren’t diverse… That’s something I thoroughly don’t agree with.”

Cena is currently in China, filming an upcoming “two-hander action, thriller, comedy” with Jackie Chan. He said the project has been “a wonderful exercise in patience and tolerance and acceptance – and all the things I’m really trying to put forth in the SKYY campaign as well.”

“I’m very, extremely happy that not only is the entertainment industry moving that way [towards diversity and inclusivity], but America is moving that way,” he told INSIDER.

“One could speculate that the reason for all the political tension is that America is, once again, going through a giant phase of change,” he continued. “And I think we’re going to come out great. I think it’s going to be a wonderful thing. It’s just not without its bumps and bruises.”

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