Most of you know John Cena as a wrestling icon, and most recently a raging Internet meme, but today the man takes a backseat to his message—a stirring commercial with a moving depiction of the average American (who might look surprisingly different from the image in our minds).

Ad Council and John Cena Inspire in Ybor with Emmy Nominated Commercial.

I took Cena’s suggestion and closed my eyes. Admittedly, my image of the average American was a male, white businessman in his thirties, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

The statistics Cena brings to light are staggering, yet unsurprising (after all, America is a melting pot), but there’s a deeper meaning to this ad, truly deserving of its Emmy nomination for outstanding commercial.

Each day we are surrounded by messages of hate, ignorance, and fear. From the media to our deep set fears, Americans have become a nation of selves rather than a nation united, as John Cena discusses. 

It’s hauntingly fitting as he walks through the streets of Ybor, a city founded and preserved by a Spanish cigar manufacturer and immigrants from many different nations and walks of life. 

Invoking the first part of our country’s name, Cena and the Ad Council remind us that labels should not undermine who we are, but help us appreciate ourselves and our country’s growing diversity. 

America is a worldwide symbol of freedom and acceptance. Perhaps we should regroup back to that image because if we stand together with those we misunderstand, there is nothing we must fear. 

Our ancestors fought for a place of acceptance and love, and, whether we are representing minorities in religion, different nationalities, diverse sexualities, or different abilities and disabilities, if we stand together instead of apart, we are America. Register on 813area to stay connected to the best Events in Tampa, Things to Do, Restaurants in Ybor, and so much more!