John Cena Will Receive Prestigous Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

'Sports Illustrated' honors an athlete each year, and this year Cena is taking home the honor.

John Cena with the Sportsperson of the Year Awards logo.
WWE

'Sports Illustrated' honors an athlete each year, and this year Cena is taking home the honor.

John Cena has another award to add to his growing list. This time, Cena is taking home the prestigious Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, as reported on WWE’s official website.

According to Sports Illustrated, the award “will celebrate individuals whose dedication to the ideals of sportsmanship has spanned decades and whose career in athletics has directly or indirectly impacted the world.”

The award focuses on athletes who have used sports as a platform to improve the world, and Cena definitely fits in with that.

Previous recipients include Magic Johnson, Jack Nicklaus, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Colin Kaepernick, which is some pretty impressive company for Cena to be a part of. It’s also worth noting that Cena is the first professional wrestler to receive the award, as all previous recipients competed in traditional sports.

The WWE Superstar is known for his charitable work, especially with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, where he has the record for most wishes granted with over 500. Singer Justin Bieber is known to grant lots of wishes as well, and he has granted around 250.

Further exemplifying Cena’s charitable work is the fact that in 2015, he actually finished second in the “Athletes Gone Good” contest hosted by DoSomething. He was beat out by Cristiano Ronaldo, but managed to finish ahead of some big names like Serena Williams, LeBron James, Yuna Kim, and others.

The actual award will be presented to Cena on Tuesday, December 11 at the Sportsperson of the Year Awards, though it won’t air on television until December 13 at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Cena posted a tweet with his thoughts on winning the award, and as one might expect, he was nothing but grateful and humble for the honor.

“To be considered part of Muhammad Ali’s legacy and be added to this incredible list of athletes is something I never dreamed could be possible. Thank you for this honor, I’ll do my best to live up to its reputation,” John Cena said.

Cena joined the WWE developmental program in 2000, and he debuted in WWE proper in June, 2002. He’s held various world championships in the company an impressive 16 times, with more likely to come in the future. He’s been one of the top performers in the company since the mid-2000s.

Lately, Cena has been more focused on his movie career and he hasn’t appeared on WWE TV since the company hosted the Super Show-Down in Australia back in October. However, as reported by Inquisitr, Cena is scheduled to return to WWE at the end of December, including Raw and Smackdown appearances.