Seahawks QB Wilson: ‘I used to beat people up’
RENTON, Wash. — Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson earned a new title Thursday — Senior Editor for The Players’ Tribune, a just-launched website founded by retired baseball superstar Derek Jeter.
And in his first article, published Thursday morning, Wilson made a revelation that caught even teammates off-guard.
“I used to beat people up,” Wilson wrote. “Truthfully, I used to beat people up a lot.”
Wilson added that he was “saved by my faith when I was 14 years old, and was able to start living for others instead of just myself.”
The fact he was once a bully was an admission greatly at odds with his current good-guy image.
“He said that he used to beat people up — that’s a surprise,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “Obviously he said he’s turned a different page in that book, but it’s still pretty interesting to see that.”
It was an admission Wilson felt was necessary to make clear his stance on domestic violence, an issue that has plagued the NFL in recent weeks.
“Domestic violence extends far beyond the spotlight of the NFL,” Wilson wrote. “It’s not unique to my profession. It’s not confined to America. All over the world, right at this moment, men, women and children are taking refuge in anonymous shelters.”
The article presented a rarely seen side of Wilson, who has often shied away from diving into controversial topics during an NFL career that began in 2012.
“I’m really proud of him,” said coach Pete Carroll, who said he had talked with Wilson about the project on Wednesday. “He’s involved himself in a very critical issue that maybe he can elevate awareness, like we are all trying to do for the right reasons. And I think his statements were very thought out and very clear.”
Wilson also revealed that he is starting the “Why Not You Foundation.” He wrote, “I’ll be raising funds and awareness for a number of worthy causes. It’s a place where I plan to give back, and for my first initiative I want us to Pass the Peace to support victims of domestic violence. The idea behind Pass the Peace is simple: It’s a promise. I’m sharing my love for you. I want to take care of you. I am here for you.”
Carroll said he had no problems with his players expressing views on any topics in whatever avenue they choose.
“Some of our guys are extremely gifted and they have an ability to connect,” Carroll said. “There is a risk that guys take by going out there, but I support our guys.”