AS I SEE IT: Roddy Piper helps “Stand for The Silent”
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
I shared this last week in my blog on Roddy Piper’s passing.
Only weeks before he died, Roddy Piper did a PSA for the group called Stand for The Silent. It’s a group for children who are being bullied, who are considering suicide and/or self-harm to “talk with others who are willing to listen, accept you and offer their love and advice. A place you are safe to say how you feel without the fear of being judged.”
I first discovered it, when Kirk Smalley, STFS’s head (who’s in my newsfeed) posted the following:
“Today we lost a great man, a huge supporter of stfs [Stand for The Silent} and the most wonderful generally good hearted man a person could ever meet. I like to call him my friend…. Our hearts and love and prayers go out to Rowdy Roddy Piper and his family…. We love you….I love you Hot Rod. My heart is broken….”
I was curious as to why Smalley reacted the way he did, then became aware of Piper’s support of this group the day after he died. Then, old school Philadelphia wrestling fan Rob Ferry found the PSA Piper had done:
Roddy Piper couldn’t bear to see children like his commit suicide because of bullying, so did this PSA on their behalf. Turns out that one of the funniest, loudest, controversial wrestlers of them all on TV and in the ring… in real life had one of the kindest hearts of all.
It turns out the syndicated Sinclair version of Ring of Honor’s TV has aired the Stand For The Silent PSA in at least some markets, so some people were already familiar with what Piper had done.
Only 2 weeks earlier, Dan McDevitt of Maryland Championship Wrestling, booked Roddy Piper on the promotion’s Shane Shamrock Memorial Show, their big show of the year. It turned out to be his final wrestling appearance. Piper died less than two weeks later, on July 31.
Before Piper’s death, MCW was originally going to make this “Piper’s Pit” segment available for sale; then after his death…understandably not wanting to be seen as profiting off Piper’s death (even though it had been in the works already), the promotion chose to do it for free as a tribute on YouTube. I suggested to Dan on MCW’s Facebook that if they were going to do it for free, they should at least insert a plug for Stand for The Silent to increase awareness, or gain them some needed funds. Dan hadn’t heard of the organization, so I gave him the relevant information and sent him the PSA.
Maryland Championship Wrestling inserted the entire Stand for The Silent PSA at the beginning of their 22 minute Piper’s Pit. The video has been viewed over 63,000 times on You Tube (and has been shared countless times on various social media).
This means (along with seeing a great segment with Piper and former Baltimore Sun and WWE creative writer Kevin Eck, whose character in MCW plays off the WWE experience as a “bitter former WWE writer” heel manager), a significant number of those people are being exposed to Stand for The Silent for the first time.
Think bullying and suicide aren’t important issues? Read the following, courtesy of Bullyingstatistics.com:
* Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
* Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
* A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above
* According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.
Some of the warning signs of suicide can include:
* Showing signs of depression, like ongoing sadness, withdrawal from others, losing interest in favorite activities, or trouble sleeping or eating
* Talking about or showing an interest in death or dying.
* Engaging in dangerous or harmful activities, including reckless behavior, substance abuse, or self injury
* Giving away favorite possessions and saying goodbye to people
* Saying or expressing that they can’t handle things anymore.
* Making comments that things would be better without them.
Stand For The Silent also noted that they have a list of over 55,000 children that have taken their lives in the last 7 years due to being bullied…8,000 per year, or 22 per day.That means that almost 1 child per hour for the last 7 years has ended their precious life due to a bully.
The organization has traveled to over 1,000 schools and spoken to over 1,000,000 children, adults and faculty, and is solely supported by donations.
Take some time to learn about Stand for The Silent at their website, Facebook, on Twitter. If you can make a donation to Stand For The Silent, please do so at this secure site. A number of showings of They Live, benefiting Stand for the Silent.
Please also take the time (its a 22 minute segment) to watch this final Piper’s Pit, and enjoy a master at work with Piper taking on Kevin Eck.
Until next time…