Professional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a loving tribute to his father, who died Wednesday.
Rocky Johnson, who wrestled for 27 years and broke barriers for black wrestlers, died at age 75.
“I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world,” Johnson wrote on Instagram. “I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deep complex sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons.”
The elder Johnson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, along with his former father-in-law -- and the Rock’s maternal grandfather -- Peter Maivia.
Tony Atlas, who along with Rocky Johnson became the first black tag team champions in WWE history, also posted a tribute on Twitter.
“We changed wrestling by paving a new path, knocking down doors while showing what movin’ n groovin’ is all about!” Atlas wrote.
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