WWE donation to Susan G. Koman: Nothing but good, politically motivated or not

The timing of WWE donating the sum of "ONE-MILLION DOLLARS" to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Breast Cancer Organization is close enough to Election Day to raise eyebrows on how politically motivated the move was in relation to Linda McMahon's Connecticut State Senate Campaign. Even so, is it really such a bad thing?

WWE Superstar John Cena®, alongside you and other members of the WWE Universe, have managed to donate & raise $1 million for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

This was accomplished during a month-long campaign to help cure breast cancer; in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in support of Komen's "mission to cure breast cancer and save women's lives".

As mentioned here on Cageside during the show, the monster promotional check was unveiled on the air during the last few moments of Monday Night Raw last night, (Oct. 29).

Evidently, the media was informed there were "more than 100 breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and representatives in attendance to help bring awareness to the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States."

Nonetheless, there is always an element out there who wants to look upon these types of happenings with an air of skepticism and pessimism, wanting to turn the public eye of scrutiny on them, just so they can pose their weary conspiracy theories and seek to find a way to assuage these good deeds for what political shenanigans they surely must be a part of.

After all, WWE must only be motivated for profit or some other nefarious reason; because we all know corporations and wealthy people are uncategorically self-serving and evil, right? So this MUST be a bad thing.

One key factor people seem quick to overlook, in what some may call a political controversy behind the large donation and it's timing this week:

The funds given to Komen were directly from proceeds which were raised from the campaign (not the one you are thinking) the one launched by WWE (no, not Linda McMahon's Senatorial campaign) no, the one which was specifically marketed for awareness and funds to benefit Komen. That's right, and that is a good thing.

Not only that, WWE promised up front to donate AT LEAST 30% of the proceeds of those efforts. Here is exactly what those efforts entailed according to WWE, Komen and the AP:

"John Cena premiered special edition pink and black ring gear, co-branded with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, at the Night of Champions event on September 16, 2012 and will continue to wear this ring gear at all WWE events through the month of October.

"During this time, WWE and their Superstars and Divas will help raise awareness amongst their millions of fans through special messaging to increase awareness of breast cancer during TV broadcasts, live events, online and through social media.

"WWE fans, including Cenation, can purchase the special edition WWE John Cena merchandise at wweshop.com or at all WWE Live events from September 16 - October 31, 2012.

"WWE will donate at least 30% of the sales of the special edition WWE John Cena merchandise to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in support of breast cancer research and community outreach programs."

Additionally:

"WWE utilized all of its assets, including TV and pay-per-view broadcasts, live events, PSAs, in-arena, digital and social media to generate awareness and encourage fans to get involved.

"Throughout the month, the announcer table, entrance ramp and ring skirts were co-branded, and the middle ring rope was turned pink to promote the fight against breast cancer.

"WWE generated an astounding 500 million impressions for Susan G. Komen, including more than 300 million impressions during TV broadcasts in the U.S. and 200 million global digital impressions.

"Approximately five million women -- more female viewers than the top rated shows on women's networks - watch WWE's weekly programming." (thus contributing to the fund-raising campaign).

That right there sounds like a really good campaign. Furthermore, sources also state that as part of the effort to push this campaign from WWE/Komen to the limits, it was also set up in a way that:

"Fans who want to get involved locally can also participate in a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as part of Team WWE By visiting the Team WWE Race registration page to learn more about how you can join forces with your favorite WWE Superstar to help women in need in your local community."

Furthermore, Komen Vice President of Marketing, Dorothy Jones explained, as a direct result of this campaign:

"Women everywhere will benefit from this extraordinary partnership, which has helped to reach millions of people, while raising funds for Komen's cutting-edge global research program... we are so grateful for WWE, and especially to John Cena and the WWE Superstars and Divas, for their enthusiastic support and friendship."

Some may ask, why does John Cena need to be the face on this? Why would WWE, what with the reputation they have had in the past (with promoting sex and violence on television, featuring scantily clad women in not so favorable roles) bother to raise funds for this particular charity, and why would Komen align themselves with them? Surely this is actually a bad thing.

Besides, Komen had that nasty Planned Parenthood (PP) scandal, that has to mean they are mismanaging these funds too, and not one person is probably really benefiting from them. That would be a bad thing.

Komen no longer has that person at it's helm who was responsible for the debacle that was the PP scandal, the programs and funds involved have all been restored and business is back to the order of benefiting people in need. That is a good thing.

Whether you care for WWE Superstar John Cena or not, he is particularly talented at the marketing and charitable organization side of the business. He is so talented at at it as a matter of fact, he has driven that side of their business forward in a way no other Superstar before him has ever even attempted to do, let alone accomplished. This is a good thing.

According to the Herald Online, when asked about his involvement in the fundraising for Komen, Cena had this to say:

"Breast cancer is a devastating disease, and we're committed to using WWE's global platform to educate people and join in Susan G. Komen for the Cure's fight to end breast cancer forever. I have a strong female fan base, and I really wanted to do something meaningful to support them after all the support they have given me through the years."

He went on to add,

"I want to personally thank the WWE Universe for their overwhelming support of Susan G. Komen's fight against breast cancer, I'm truly honored to lead WWE's charge to rise above cancer and help find a cure."

Fair enough, sounds pretty decent, right? So there you go, that is a good thing too.

Although in the past, WWE has had a poor reputation for it's content, you do have to acknowledge the fact they have been attempting to turn the tide on that front, in what could easily be described as an uphill battle.

One of their attempts, for whatever motivations, to improve their impact in the community, has been to change to the PG rating system for their broadcasts, including monitoring their media databases on YouTube and the internet at large.

Additionally, I think they have been marketing the women's Diva's division in a variety of ways, experimenting with it, thus attempting to give female sports entertainers a showcase for their lovely healthy breasts... and that is always a good thing, am I right?

For some time now WWE has been diverting their attention into seeking new ways of conducting business than they have so narrow-mindedly focused on in the past.

In the past, did we have WWE's global community outreach addressing "important social issues, including education, diversity and inclusion, military support and fulfilling wishes and dreams"? No we didn't, and that was not a good thing.

But now, according to WWE, they, along with their Superstars and Divas, are currently working hard in order to:

"Support a wide range of programs, partners and initiatives that strive to positively impact children and families worldwide, including the "Be a STAR" anti-bullying campaign, WrestleMania Reading Challenge, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Make-A-Wish Foundation, WWE Tribute to the Troops and many more".

That is quite a lot of good things, more than six.

So, yes, WWE chose to donate these funds at the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (which happens to be October). Yes, they decided it was a grand idea to make a momentous presentation with lots of fanfare on the air at Monday Night Raw's Hell in a Cell, 2012 fall out show, since this was when ratings would be high (this to help raise awareness and gain maximum exposure, good business).

Yes, the former WWE CEO Linda McMahon is running for office in the Connecticut state senatorial campaign, with voting right around the corner coming up the first week of November here in the states. Yes, that can't possibly hurt her with the woman's vote right about now. Yes, some people think the donation and the timing were politically motivated.

However, even if in some underhanded way it was a political ploy -- will it actually help her even come close to NOT losing this election in a landslide? No. Is that a good thing? (read, rhetorical)

So in the end, how is any of this anything BUT good for everyone, other than the naysayers, pessimists, conspiracy theorists and political pundits? Screw those negative trolls with this next bit of info --

Turns out, according to the Herald Online, what WWE turned over to Komen in the form of the giant check for a million dollars last night, wasn't actually the afore mentioned "at least 30%" figure they had committed to. Did those greedy bastards actually short-change the cancer people? NO, instead -- wait. for. it. --

WWE donated the entire 100% of the proceeds of their efforts!

People, this is not mad money from Linda McMahon's personal account, nor slush funds from her campaign coffers, nor a rainy day fund swiped from the piggy bank of Vince's office or embezzled out of Vince's Corporate account -- these funds were raised specifically for this cause by people like me and you and the entire WWE Universe, and John Cena.

And in my mind, as long as even one person (like my Mom) benefits, in even some small way, from this generous donation -- nothing else matters. That right there makes it a good thing no matter what the motivation, people.


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For more information about WWE's Corporate Social Responsibility, WWE as a publicly traded company, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and sources cited in this piece, read some of the full reference articles right here, here and here. They are good too.

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Author's Afterword:

Please allow me to disclose to you this opinion piece is worded strongly because this topic is close to home for me. Several times I have set out to write about this issue and post something on the site, nevertheless, each time it is just too much of a struggle. Here is why:

  • First of all, I am a woman, therefore I am more at risk for breast cancers than if I were a man or a child, although they too get breast cancers
  • Plus, I also happen to have a teenage daughter who will face the same cancer risks or more than I do now
  • In addition to this, I had a Great-Grandmother I never met, because she lost both her breasts and her life, succumbing to breast cancer in her early forties, along with a great Aunt and a second-cousin who were both lost to this dreaded disease as well in recent years
  • Most of all, my only living parent, my Mom, has been fighting breast cancer for the past year. She was diagnosed last November the week of Thanksgiving and it has been one helluva year. I have mentioned some of the details about this in the threads here on the site recently, so will not go into too much detail here

The point is, my Mom is a current cancer patient and she has directly benefited from resources and funds provided by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Organization. So has our family. They used funds directly to support my Mom in coping with her breast cancer diagnosis. What did she receive?

Among other things, she received an immediate support system, contacts to many other support systems to choose from and access on the phone, day or night, online 24/7 and in person in the community. She received a wealth of information, reassurances, no false hopes and a sense of belonging, camaraderie, empathy, understanding and strength to hold on or to face the end, whichever the case may be.

When she lost all of her body hair and had the rest of her scalp shaved off, she received her choice of free wigs, (up to a certain dollar amount), referrals to wig shops, including supplies to go with them, fittings, classes and care instructions for them.

She received a consultation to a private shop to fit her for a special bra, cami and swim suit line that has inserts for the empty area where her breast used to be (as she opted not to do the elective reconstruction procedure) so her clothes would fit more properly and her bra would not hurt her other shoulder and back and ride up so much, or float oddly in the water (in the case of the swimwear).

What else? She received advice on how to treat her mastectomy scar, an image gallery on what to expect. She received care packages, full of products and supplies to pamper her through the worst of times. She received information on how to find funding to help her with the costs of medical treatment that her insurance left in her hands while she was off work for the better part of the past year... and so much more... I could actually go on.

And she is but ONE singular patient... one woman fighting the good fight, for her daughter (me), for my sister and for her grand-daughter (my kid), all this just so we can selfishly have her here with us for even one more day, week, month or year.

Ultimately, the scary and awful and terrifying thing about cancer is that it presents you with a fight you are forced to face all alone in many ways and levels, no matter what anyone tries to do for you.

But with the help of Susan G. Komen and the funds raised and donated by places like the WWE Universe, I can tell you that my Mom is now officially in remission this month, and is fully prepared to keep on fighting to keep it that way. GO MOM!

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While breast cancer awareness month is coming to an end, unfortunately the disease is still affecting millions of people across the world. WWE will continue its ongoing commitment to Susan G. Komen with "additional plans for the partnership being made around Mother's Day and beyond. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org/wwe or call 1-877 GO KOMEN."

To learn more about breast cancer and breast self awareness Komen asks us to: "Please visit the Understanding Breast Cancer section of the Komen website or call our helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN. Our helpline provides free, professional support services to anyone with breast health and breast cancer concerns, including breast cancer patients and their families."

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