DALLAS -- Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr joined WWE Superstars The Miz and Sin Cara along with Diva Natalya and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon to share their personal stories about bullying to the kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas along with provide encouragement and resources on how to combat the problem.
"How many of you have been bullied?" McMahon asked the elementary-aged children. "Look around. That's a lot. Now, I'm going to ask everybody sitting up here: how many of you have been bullied? You guys are not alone, and we are here to give you some of the tools you need to put an end to bullying in your community."
Carr, who grew up as "the smallest kid on the block" in Flint, Michigan bespectacled and scrawny, stated the first way to stop bullying is to find someone you trust as he did.
"The thing that I take away from those situations growing up is that I always had an outlet," said Carr. "I always had that person supporting me, that person for advice. So my advice to you is that if you don't have that person that you can confidentially go and talk to, whatever your fear is or whatever is going on. Maybe a girl is bullying some of you guys. That's something embarrassing to talk about. But if it's happening, it's a real issue. And nowadays with cyber bullying and what's going on in the world, we have to address that situation."
Since 2009, cyber bullying has become the most common form of bullying. Natalya says the best way to stop cyber bullying is to employ block and ignore features on social media.
"The easiest thing to do is either ignore it or block the person that's being negativity. That way, you don't have to see it. It's like 'click.' It's really fun."
Either after or in conjunction with censoring bullying online, kids are also encouraged to talk to their parents or trusted adults about the cyber bullying.
Said Natalya: "There's a lot of different things you can do to stop it. Obviously you can go and tell an adult, tell a trusted adult, tell a trusted friend, talk to a teacher about it, talk to your mom, talk to your dad. There's things that you can do as far as blocking someone. I actually really enjoy blocking people on Twitter. I love it."
To underscore the WWE's efforts in preventing bullying, Superstars Sin Cara and The Miz, two competitors for the Intercontinental Championship that will take place at Wrestlemania at AT&T Stadium Sunday, joined the panel. Sin Cara even removed his blue mask for the kids to truly speak from his heart on the subject.
"I think it's important for you to know me as a person," Sin Cara said. "Why? Because we had the same problems you have in your real life. I grew up in a place where El Paso wasn't the best town in the world ever obviously. These things that we do in the ring don't reflect who we are in real life. What we do in the ring is all story lines. I'm not that person that you see me in the street doing high-flying stuff."
Sin Cara recounted humble beginnings in El Paso, Texas where in elementary school a bigger kid would bully him. It was through this experience that he understood he had to take action against bullying. One of the most effective ways to stop bullying is to not be a bystander when bullying is happening to another.
"A bystander is somebody who doesn't do anything when something's happening, somebody's getting bullied and they don't do anything about it," said Sin Cara. "And there's a 50 percent chance that if somebody's being bullied and if somebody does something about it, the other kid is going to stop. So that's very, very high percentage. We all have to be able to learn to help each other, to trust each other, to be able to stop -- if you see things like that, stop it.
"Or if there are other things you can do. You can tell an adult. Talk to your teachers. Talk to the guy that is being bullied; comfort them. And also tell the bully to stop. So there's a lot of things that you can be. You don't have to be just standing watching things happen. We all live in this world. We want to make it a better place. So, let's keep doing that."
Sin Cara drew comparisons to teaming up and stopping bullying to his membership in the Lucha Dragons, who are amicable outside the ring as they are inside of it. Sin Cara stands up for his fellow Dragons and encouraged children to do the same when someone tries to engage in bullying.
"This Sunday, AT&T Stadium in front of 100,000 people, I have the opportunity the win the Intercontinental Championship, to be in the ring with one of my buddies, Sin Cara," The Miz said as he shared his lifelong history of triumphs over bullying. "And we're going to go at it head to head, face to face, and one of us, hopefully, will be the Intercontinental Champion."
The Miz recounted how in elementary school he was picked on and derided for aspiring to make the local basketball team despite being shorter in stature. With hard work, perseverance, and ignoring negative talk, he made the team. A similar approach was employed when he tried out for MTV's The Real World in 2001, where he beat out 40,000 over hopefuls.
Said The Miz: "After 'The Real World,' I said, 'I can do anything I ever wanted with my life. What have I always wanted to do?' I wanted to be a WWE Superstar. Do you have any idea how many people laughed at me when I said that? People were telling me, 'You're not 6-7. You're not 300 pounds of pure solid muscle.'"
Natalya, Sin Cara, The Miz, and Carr were all living testaments to prevailing and overcoming the obstacle of bullying. For McMahon, who plays a bully in the ring along with her husband Triple H, she wanted the kids to know her husband and father, Vince McMahon, were ardent supporters of the Boys & Girls Club along with anti-bullying advocates.
"How many of you know that Triple H also went to a Boys and Girls Club? How many of you know that my father, Vince McMahon, is in the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame? That's right. And the way that they learned to be so successful is because of the lessons and the values they were taught here at the Boys and Girls Club, one of the main ones being character and leadership."
Along with Stephanie's leadership and in partnership with the Superstars and Divas, the WWE Community launched the "Be a STAR" campaign "to encourage young people to treat each other with respect through education and grassroots initiatives," according to the WWE Community website.
"When it comes to bullying, whether it's on cyber or social or it's in your face or it's physical or it's mental, we know what to do about it," The Miz declared. "But if people are telling you you can't do something, don't believe them. Realize you are special. There is something about you. You were put on this Earth for a reason. And whatever you want to do with your life, do it. If you have a passion or something that you love, don't let people bring you down on that. You're better than that. You're amazing. Each and every one of you has some unique gift."
Said Carr: "Always have that person next to you or go find someone that you can confide in and ask those intimate questions, those questions that are embarrassing to others. I did it. It helped me. It helped me to where now I can talk to you all about this."