by Carrie Healey -thegrio.com
WWE star David Otunga talked to theGrio about the heroes in his life and his relationship with singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.
The two-time tag team champion is not your average wrestler or entertainer; Otunga is also a Harvard Law School graduate.
He was recently back at his alma mater to be the keynote speaker at the Sports and Entertainment Symposium.
“I mean, just the fact that Harvard Law School, they invite very few people there to speak,” Otunga told theGrio. “It just validated everything I did because to me, that shows that they’re proud of me. The fact that they asked me to come back there and speak means that I’ve done something that was worth speaking about. That meant a lot to me.”
A high-achieving student himself, Otunga values education and black history, and he expressed the importance of those values for young children.
“I feel like we’ve come a long way as a nation in terms of race relations, and sometimes younger generations, they don’t necessarily understand everything that older generations went through,” he said. ”They don’t necessarily know the history. So I think it is very important to educate them on that. Another thing too, is it’s very important to highlight certain African-Americans who have done exceptional things in society.”
As far as a black figure he has always looked up to, the wrestler replied, “my dad.”
“My dad was an educator and held a doctorate degree, certificate of advanced studies, four masters degrees. He was crazy about school. I’ve always looked up to him, and even as a father, I try to raise my son like he raised me. He was definitely my hero growing up.”
And when it comes to raising their four-year-old son, both Hudson and Otunga make sacrifices to make their family and relationship run smoothly.
“It takes a lot of work,” the 33-year-old said. “We’re doing a very good job at it. It’s really tough when we’re both busy, traveling all over the place.” Adding that they often travel to each other, “so we always end up spending a lot of time together.”
All in all, Otunga wants to teach young people that their dreams are very reachable. While working at one of Chicago’s top law firms, Otunga took a gamble when he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler and actor.
“I try to tell everybody is if there’s something you really want to do, go after it. You can do it. If I did it, you can do it.”