Russell Wilson was named the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year on Saturday. 12s should be proud to have a quarterback who’s even better off the field. No matter how Seahawks fans feel about Russell Wilson on the field – Does he hold on to the ball too long? Is he a top-five quarterback? – there can be no doubt that off the field, where life really matters, Wilson makes a difference.
Wilson does this humbly and without drawing so much attention to himself. Since being drafted by the Seahawks in 2012, Wilson has made it a priority to visit the Seattle Children’s Hospital every Tuesday during seasons. He has rarely missed a week. (One Tuesday before Halloween, Wilson comically showed up dressed as Pete Carroll.)
Wilson also will be starting the Why Not You Academy in the fall of 2021 to help disadvantaged youth to better their chances to get a quality education.
On Saturday, while accepting the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, Wilson said
"This moment. Dad, I can remember you telling me in the car one day, ‘Son, love changes things.’ Well, dad, you were right. I wish you were here to tell the world that in the toughest of times. 2020 was the most difficult times in history….Our Why Not You Foundation will continue to lead with love. We will help and keep fighting poverty through education, empower the youth to have ‘Why not you?’ attitude…To America, to the world, love is patient, love is kind, love changes things. The great Walter Payton once said, ‘We are stronger together than we are alone.’ Dad, I think Walter was right. To the young boy or girl who has a dream, who wants to make a difference. Remember this one thing, love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love changes things."
Russell Wilson makes Seahawks fan proud
Sure, we can discuss and disagree how great or simply good Russell Wilson is on the field. There can be no mistake that he makes Seattle a much better football team than they would be if they didn’t have Wilson. Would 12s rather played for the 49ers, for instance?
But one thing we should not disagree about is that Wilson makes humanity better. An NFL player only has a short time to make an impact in life. A human being has a lifetime. My safe assumption is that Wilson will keep helping people long after his NFL career is over and that’s what really matters.