“He might just be the most charitable person in sports."
WWE superstar, actor and philanthropist John Cena has been named the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award recipient as a result of his extensive work with Make-A-Wish Foundation and his overall commitment to philanthropy.
To date, Cena has granted nearly 600 wishes for children with life threatening illnesses, far more than anyone else involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
According to SI, the Legacy Award was created in 2008 and renamed after Ali in 2015 in recognition of his decades as a boxing legend, civil rights activist and icon. Previous recipients include Jim Brown, Magic Johnson and Colin Kaepernick.
Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Stephen Cannella, who was among those who helped select Cena for the award, says the 16-time WWE champion might be the most charitable person in all of sports.
"From his unparalleled work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to his support for a wide range of causes ranging from activism for military families to cancer research, John has made personal outreach and generosity of time and spirit his calling cards,” said Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Stephen Cannella. “He might just be the most charitable person in sports, and his dedication to philanthropy richly reflects the spirit of the Ali Legacy Award."
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Cena, 41, says (H/T SI), "I am truly thrilled to receive Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. Ali's commitment to helping others, his dedication to the sport and his generous spirit are incomparable and he was a role model to us all. To be linked with him in any way is an honor that means so much to me."
The award presentation will take place at Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year event on December 11 at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles.