Russell Wilson: Character & Generosity
Ten years into his NFL career, Russell Wilson has a lot to be proud of. Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl Champion, and has written his name into countless record books. Despite his impressive resumé, Wilson is being honored for something other than his athletic performance: his character.
Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, has been named the 2022 Bart Starr Award winner. This award honors an NFL player who exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. The winner is voted on by fellow NFL players.
Watch Russell Wilson’s reaction to being notified that he will be winning the Bart Starr Award at the 2022 Super Bowl Breakfast.
Since he was drafted by the Seahawks in 2012, Wilson has made serving the Seattle community a priority in his life. Wilson has made regular visits to patients at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilson and his wife, singer and actress Ciara, donated 1 million meals to Seattle’s foodbank, Food Lifeline, and encouraged his social media followers to give generously.
In 2014, Wilson and Ciara created the Why Not You Foundation to fight poverty and empower youth. As a part of the Foundation, in 2020, they created the Why Not You Academy, a charter high school just south of Seattle. The academy serves “systematically underserved students” providing them with innovative experiences.
This past July, Wilson and Ciara launched Immuno Heroes, a campaign to raise funds for Seattle Children’s Therapeutics, an immunotherapy program. Immuno Heroes helps fund groundbreaking treatments for children with cancer.
Watch Russell at the Super Bowl Online SpeciAL
Experience the excitement of the 2022 Super Bowl Breakfast, featuring Peyton & Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, Jackie & Matthew Slater, and other NFL influencers. It’s 30 minutes of stories, insight, & inspiration you don’t want to miss.
What motivates Wilson and his family to give so sacrificially? Wilson makes it clear where his desire to serve others comes from. After his final home game of the 2021 season, Wilson told reporters, “I believe that God’s given me so much ability but also so much opportunity to serve, and I just thank God every day I get to serve and to give back and to help.” Wilson’s Twitter bio reads: “I want to Love like Jesus!”
This isn’t the first time Wilson has been recognized for his life outside of football. In 2020, Wilson was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his excellence on and off the field.
Wilson isn’t just a role model for his community and family but also for fellow athletes. In 2019, he led a Bible study with over 30 college and professional athletes. Wilson posted a video on Twitter of the group of men donating essential items to the Seattle community. Wilson led the group in prayer that day:
“Jesus, You call us to love,” he said. “I pray we would love more like You, to speak more like You and sound more like You, and to not judge, Father God, but to just love one another.”
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Thanks, Russell, for reminding us that when we truly experience the love of God, we are moved to share it with others.
Want to hear from Wilson and other NFL influencers about leading on and off the field? Tune in to the Athletes in Action’s Super Bowl Breakfast YouTube Special on February 12.
The Super Bowl Breakfast will be hosted by James Brown, and will feature Eli and Peyton Manning, Jackie and Matthew Slater, Demario and Tamela Davis, Reza Zadeh, Justin Simmons and the presentation of the Bart Starr Award to Russell Wilson.
WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM Russell Wilson?
Take a look back at his interview at the 2014 Super Bowl Breakfast as he shares on the importance of leadership