More than 6,000 members of the WWE Universe enjoyed a special Be a STAR Alliance Anti-Bullying Night at MCU Park, home of the New York Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones. The children and their families listened to positive anti-bullying messages from WWE Superstars Zack Ryder and Mark Henry, along with third-generation Diva Natalya and SmackDown ring announcer Lilian Garcia. (PHOTOS)
Former World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry might be known inside the ring as The World's Strongest Man, but the WWE Superstar is also the self-proclaimed "World's Most Tolerant Man." Henry, who now lives in New York City, told the group the importance of spreading a positive message to others - both in person and online.
"Cyberbullying is something I know many of you face each and every day," Henry said before issuing a challenge to the audience.
"I would like all of you to think about what your words mean and send a positive message to your friends online instead of something hurtful."
The growth of social media is an important part of Be a STAR, both in combating cyberbullying and spreading the Alliance's message that intolerance must end.
"We use the worldwide platform of WWE to speak about what it means to stand up for yourself and to not allow bullying to happen," Natalya said of social media's impact on the campaign.
Long Island Iced-Z provided words of encouragement for anyone in the crowd who faces bullying.
"Stick to your guns and be yourself," he said.
After the rally, Natalya tossed out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cyclones took on the Hudson Valley Renegades. Garcia then delivered a stirring rendition of the national anthem before the teams took the field.
Afterward, they signed autographs for the excited members of the WWE Universe in attendance.
Be a STAR is an anti-bullying alliance of more than 50 organizations founded by WWE. Its mission is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone, regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation, through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness. For more information, visit Be a STAR on Facebook or http://www.beastaralliance.org.