The Rock Posts Touching Tribute After Losing His Dad

by Julie Scagell
Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty

The Rock’s touching tribute shows just how much he loved his father

We’re used to seeing funny posts from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about his kids, being a doting husband, his meal “cheat” days, and his love affair with Kevin Hart. But his touching tribute to his dad after his death on Wednesday shows a whole new side of himself and his upbringing.

“I love you,” Johnson wrote. “You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.” He went on the say he learned how to be proud of his culture and where he came from through his dad, as well as much of his work ethic.

Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson was a Canadian boxer and professional wrestler, who blazed trails for his son and many others. During his wrestling career, he became a National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion and a NWA Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champion, joining the WWE in 1983. He died at the age of 75, the WWE announced.

In 2008, Johnson achieved the highest honor in sports-entertainment when he was inducted by his son into the WWE Hall of Fame where “he will be forever enshrined as one of sports-entertainment’s most influential performers.”

“The boy you raised with the toughest of love,” the father-of-three continued. “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 deeply complicated 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.”

Johnson alluded to his dad’s past last year when he bought his dad a house. “He’s a weathered soul and like all weathered souls, there’s often a harsh storied path that got them there,” he wrote. “That path started at 13yrs old when his mom kicked him out of his house on Christmas day and forced him to live on the streets.”

Johnson said he wishes he had one more chance to tell his dad how much he loved him. “You were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back.,” he wrote. “Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish.”

He signed off saying: “I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high.”