Russell Wilson has revealed the racist encounter he experienced shortly after winning the Super Bowl in 2014 that ‘pained’ his heart.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback, 31, reflected on the hurtful exchange he had shortly after winning the big game in an interview with ESPN.
Russell was waiting in line for breakfast when an older white man spoke to him.
”That’s not for you,” Russell recalled the individual saying to him.
Initially, Russell thought the man was joking – but then it dawned on him that was not the case.
‘And I said, ‘Huh? Excuse me?’ I thought he was joking at first,’ he explained. ‘My back was kind of turned. I had just come off a Super Bowl and everything else, so if somebody is talking to me that way, you think about [a different] circumstance and how people talk to you. In that moment, I really went back to being young and not putting my hands in my pocket and that experience.
‘That was a heavy moment for me right there. I was like, man, this is really still real, and I’m on the West Coast. This is really real right now.’
Keeping in mind what his father taught him about staying level-headed in the heat of the moment, Russell decided to stand up for himself.
‘That really pained my heart. But in the midst of that, what I understood was — and [what] my dad always taught me was — to not lash back out in that moment because then it becomes something that’s hard to deal with,’ he explained.
‘So I said, ‘Excuse me, sir, but I don’t appreciate you speaking to me that way.’ He just kind of walked off. But in that little glimpse, even though it didn’t turn into something, what if it did? That’s the sad part about this, what we’re talking about.’
Russell has been heartbroken watching the protests and civil unrest unfold in response to the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.
In his interview with ESPN, the athlete said he did not want to talk about football amid the current climate.
‘When you think about the idea of Black Lives Matter, they do matter,’ Russell told ESPN. ‘The reality is that, me as a black person, people are getting murdered on the street, people are getting shot down, and the understanding that it’s not like that for every other race. It’s like that in particular for the black community. I think about my stepson, I think about my daughter, I think about our new baby boy on the way, and it’s staggering to watch these things happen right in front of our faces, so I have a heavy heart right now.’
Russell shares three-year-old daughter Sienna Princess with his wife Ciara, and is also stepfather to her six-year-old son Future, whom she shares with her ex, rapper Future.
Now Russell and Ciara are expecting their second child together – a baby boy.
The couple have not stayed silent as the protest continues to unfold across the country.
Russell shared a lengthy statement onto his Instagram account, where he said the video of Floyd being knelt on ‘broke my heart.’
Ciara shared her hopes for the future while taking a selfie with her young son.
‘My sweet Baby Boy. I pray that when you get older A CHANGE will finally have come!! I’m going to keep my FAITH! I’m praying that the losses of our Black Kings and Queens won’t be in vain. Enough is Enough! I’m praying for UNITY! I’m praying for the powers that be to unite and decide that it’s time for a change!’ she wrote.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Christine Rendon