WWE Superstar Seth Rollins has won dozens of championships and accolades throughout his career in sports entertainment.
Now he’s championing a new fight for gender equality. In an interview with Global Citizen, Rollins said that you should “treat all people as you wish to be treated,” when explaining his commitment to uplifting women.
Wrestling has historically been a male-dominated sport and female wrestlers have been typically relegated to supporting roles during major events. Up until 2016, women wrestlers were officially called “Divas” while men were called “Superstars.” This divide contributed to female wrestlers being perceived differently among their male peers, and set gendered expectations for young viewers.
Since then, the WWE has made strides in its effort to become more inclusive. The league has ensured more airtime for women, created dedicated events to platform female Superstars, and opened up more opportunities for young talent.
It’s a shift that has resonated with the WWE’s audience.
"The message from our fan base around the world was clear — they wanted to see our female performers in more prominent storylines, with deeper character development, and competing in longer matches," Stephanie McMahon, a wrestling personality and WWE chief brand officer, wrote in the Players Tribune in 2016.
For his part, Rollins has championed this transition and vows to do whatever he can to help empower women. He's using his stature to help change the dynamics of the sport, create more opportunities for women, and eliminate sexist narratives. In a rapid fire interview, the Superstar described his commitment to the cause of gender equality.
What inspired you to begin wrestling?
The larger-than-life picture of WWE Superstars.
Was there a specific moment or match when you realized female Superstars had created something special?
Bayley vs Sasha Banks at NXT in Brooklyn.
How has working and training with female Superstars improved your own performance?
It 100% pushes me to the next level.
Why is it important for the men’s locker room to support the women’s locker room?
Because empowering women empowers all of us. Iron sharpens iron.
What’s it like to know that you’re a role model to young fans today?
That’s what it’s all about. Inspiring kids worldwide to be the change.
Knowing this, what advice would you give to young men on equality?
Treat all people as you wish to be treated. Stand for those who can’t.
Why is it important for you to be an ally in the fight for gender equality?
For the sake of progress. Everyone grows with fair opportunity.
What do you see as the future for women in wrestling? For women in the world?
The sky is the limit. I imagine a world where we all stand together.