Sami Zayn Wants To Change Arab Stereotypes And Be A Positive Influence


Sami Zayn spoke with ESPN for a new interview. Here are some of the highlights:

On how Arab people are portrayed in the media and speaking out against President Trump’s travel ban: “It’s definitely a sensitive topic to discuss, but I have felt since I signed with the WWE I was in a unique position to reestablish how Arabs were perceived in the WWE and western media. Ever since I was a kid and growing up and watching things like the ‘Naked Gun’ movies, there was always this stereotype about how Arabs were perceived and portrayed. I’ve never watched those Arab villains in the movie and felt like that was me. They were nothing like me, and now I get to just be me — and hopefully being me strikes a chord with a lot of young Arabs and non-Arabs, honestly. We’re really not all that different.”

On WWE giving him a platform to succeed and represent himself: “The impact this company has overseas is overwhelming at times, but it’s like the old expression: ‘With great power comes great responsibility. With a platform that big, and with an opportunity this big, whether you want to be a role model or not, this puts you in a position where you have to be your best; it’s really your duty to be the best that you can be.”

On hoping he can change outdated stereotypes of Arab people and be a positive influence: “I think it’s important for youngsters from all walks of life to have some sort of representative that they can look up to and aspire to be and let them know there’s a chance for anybody from any background. That’s the spirit of America, right? Anybody from any background can make it anywhere with enough hard work. I think the more people from all walks of life who speak up and the more diverse success stories we have, the better that is for our youngsters growing up, knowing they can attain those same goals just like anybody else.”

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