Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? With any luck, it’ll be the US presidency, because after Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Dwayne Johnson is the most popular candidate.
In the wake of a powerful Black Lives Matter speech condemning the current president for his lack of leadership in the fallout of George Floyd’s death, Johnson has re-emerged as the People’s Champion for the Oval Office.
Since being uploaded on Friday, June 4, the video has been viewed more than 13.5 million times on Instagram alone. From there, the Jumanji star’s words have galvanised supporters into pledging bets: bookies now have The Rock as the third most-backed candidate.
You can check out Johnson’s speech in the video below:
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Our country is crippled and on its knees, begging to be heard and pleading for change. Where is our compassionate leader? The leader who unifies and inspires our country at our most painful time when we need it the most. The leader who steps up and takes full accountability for our country and embraces every color in it. The leader who picks our country up off its knees and says you have my word – we got this – and together, change will happen. Where are you? Because we’re all here. Maybe one day that galvanizing leader will emerge. Either way, the process to change has already begun. #normalizeequality #blacklivesmatter
According to OddsChecker, UK bookmakers noticed a surge in support for Johnson following his passionate speech on social media. Despite not even running for president, punters have been placing bets in spades, accounting for 3.34% of all wagers in the market.
However, he’s also priced at +40000, which means Johnson has roughly a 0.2% chance of Rock Bottom-ing his way into the White House. Biden is the current favourite at -112, with Trump in second at +120.
In the video, Johnson – who generally avoids voicing his views on politics online – addressed the POTUS, saying:
Where are you? Where is our leader at this time? This time where our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain, begging and pleading with its arms out, just wanting to be heard, begging and pleading and praying for change…
Where is our compassionate leader, who’s going to step up to our country, who’s down on its knees, and extend a hand and say, ‘You stand up, stand up with me because I got you. I hear you, I’m listening to you. And you have my word that I’m going to do everything in my power, until my dying day, my last breath, to do everything I can to create the change that is needed, to normalise equality because Black Lives Matter’?
However, this doesn’t necessarily put him in with a shot of winning – mainly because he’s not in the race in the first place. As Johnson’s popularity soared to astronomic levels back in 2018 and 2019, the notion of The Rock 2020 presidential campaign spread online.
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Past few days I’ve been stunned trying make sense of George Floyd’s death. The video. The plea for breath. The callous response. The racism. The killing. This is our ongoing disease. I’ve had cops in my family. Good men. And there’s a cop code, granting you the authority to use force if your life is in danger. But when a man is handcuffed, on the ground, no longer a threat, with your brothers in arms standing around watching and he struggles to say, “please I can’t breathe” when your knee is on his neck.. not his back, but his neck – cutting off his air. Cop code must become moral code. Ethics code. HUMANITY code. Knowing that if you don’t ease up, then that man is going to die. So when you decide to not ease up, your intention is to kill. And that’s what this was. George Floyd, said “officer I can’t breathe” as he struggled for air. He said these words a total of 15 times. Not once. Not twice. 15 times. These officers will be charged, I’m positive of that. Held accountable. But then where’s the greater accountability? The leadership to healing. More importantly, the leadership to EQUALITY. We ultimately win when we can normalize equality. I’m so sorry to the Floyd family. My heart breaks for you. Let the process begin now. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #NormalizeEquality
In 2017, he’d told GQ that the prospect of ditching his position as the highest-paid movie star in the world to run for office was ‘a real possibility’. The next year, he told Rolling Stone he hasn’t ruled out ‘making a bigger impact’, but entering the 2020 race is incredibly unlikely.
Republicans, Democrats, independents, mayors, strategists, you name it. Just soaking in and listening. Trying to learn as much as I possibly can. I entertain the thought, and thank you, I’m so flattered by it. But I feel like the best thing I can do now is, give me years. Let me go to work and learn.
Maybe one day in the future, we’ll see the jabroni-beating, pie-eating, trailblazing, eyebrow-raising People’s Champ in the White House.
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Topics: Film and TV, Donald Trump, Dwayne Johnson, Joe Biden, Now, The Rock, US President