John Cena lives by the motto, “Never Give Up,” so it was only appropriate that The Cenation Leader be the presenter of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2017 ESPY Awards last night, honoring New Orleans Saints “hype kid” and WWE Hero Award recipient Jarrius “JJ” Robertson.
The award, named after intrepid North Carolina State University head football coach Jim Valvano, is given by The V Foundation for Cancer Research and ESPN. In 2016, WWE partnered with The V Foundation to expand Connor’s Cure, a fund dedicated to pediatric cancer research.
“Last year, obviously, I got to host, but this year was equally as moving, equally as important,” Cena told WWE.com. “Jim Valvano’s speech [at the first-ever ESPYs in 1993] was based off three words that I hold very close, ‘never give up,’ and Jarrius’ story is the epitome of that.”
Robertson, 15, battles chronic liver disease, but has nevertheless proven to be an omnipresent fixture in the New Orleans sports community, and has captivated millions with his positive attitude. He’s even taken a few WWE Superstars to the mat in some hilarious interviews the night he received the WWE Hero Award at SmackDown LIVE last month — which included an in-ring celebration involving the entire Team Blue roster.
“Jarrius is a WWE Superstar. You can tell by his personality, you can tell by his energy, so it’s no surprise that he had the most fun being in a WWE ring,” Cena said. “I can’t wait for him to come back, and I am now fearful for my job because I think he’s going to take it.”