Russell Wilson’s glad racial questions are no longer forefront

AP

Russell Wilson was well aware of his place in history, and heartened by the fact it didn’t come up.

Wilson wrote a thoughtful piece for TheMMQB.com on the role of race and sports, after becoming just the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

“The amazing thing was, I knew,” he wrote. “I knew, after the game, the history of it. It matters because our world is changing—for the better. America’s hearts are changing, and the NFL is changing too. The NFL is moving forward.”

Wilson has a unique perspective from which to view the changing attitudes, because he also works for a team which only employs African-American quarterbacks: Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Terrelle Pryor, B.J. Daniels and Keith Price.

It’s not that’s necessarily a job requirement (the same staff gave Matt Flynn a pile of money before they realized Wilson was better). But they seem to enjoy it, jokingly referring to themselves as “The Jackson 5.” Wilson says he’s like Michael (and hopefully he doesn’t start having plastic surgery in an effort to look like Pete Carroll).

But the fact an entire depth chart can be made of players who might not have been given the chance to play that position a generation ago speaks volumes.

And to Wilson, the fact it doesn’t come up all the time speaks loudest of all.

88 responses to “Russell Wilson’s glad racial questions are no longer forefront

  1. As a Niners fan, I actually like Wilson. With that being said..Seattle Seahawks fanbase; established: 2011. And before you say you were a fan before, you stole the 12th man from Texas A&M.

  2. Doug Williams willed the Redskins to the SB in 1987, 37 years ago. Well more than 1 generation ago. Add in HoF W. Moon, Randall Cunningham, K Stewart, D. McNabb and a host more of black QB’s starting & being paid in that time frame destroys from your paragraph ‘that blacks might not have been given this opportunity a generation a go.’

  3. I’m somewhat addicted to NFL coverage in the media. I knew the tide had shifted when I didn’t see a mention of Russell Wilson being the 2nd black QB to win a Super Bowl until at least two months after the game.

  4. People only care about the race of a player when they have off field issues, and even then only to excuse or condemn their actions. That doesn’t say much because people will also root for (alleged) murderers, (alleged) rapists, wife beaters, drug users, drunk drivers, (alleged) gang bangers, and racists as long as they are wearing the right laundry.

    People care about their favorite team WINNING.

  5. Race at the QB position is still an issue. Wilson just happens to play for a coach who is about winning and building a positive team, instead of reading into stupid stereotypes.

  6. jjb0811 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:32 AM
    Doug Williams willed the Redskins to the SB in 1987, 37 years ago. Well more than 1 generation ago.

    something about your math isn’t quite right there.

  7. “Wilson says he’s like Michael (and hopefully he doesn’t start having plastic surgery in an effort to look like Pete Carroll).”

    That gave me a mental picture of him dropping back and doing the moon walk!

  8. But white people are racist if they disagree with Barack Obama’s politics. Wonder if we can eliminate that notion along with what Wilson is talking about. Of course not.

  9. bahoto34 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:46 AM
    jjb0811 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:32 AM
    Doug Williams willed the Redskins to the SB in 1987, 37 years ago. Well more than 1 generation ago.

    something about your math isn’t quite right there.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A generation is widely accepted to be 20-22 years. 37 years is not only well more than a singel generation, it is nearly two.

  10. That’s funny, now that it was brought up. As a Seahawks fan I am well aware of the current team roster.
    It never occurred to me there were no white QBs on the team until it was pointed out….

  11. When no one notices or talks about the color of the winning Super Bowl team’s quarterback, only then will we truly be able to say that times have changed for the better.

    To borrow the phrase from MLK, on the football field, it is the content of one’s performance that matters, and not the color of one’s skin.

  12. I like Russell Wilson. He is a class-act and i respect him to the moon and back. And he is one of the best QBs in the NFL. He will win more Super Bowls too. I wish him all the success in the world except for when they play the Saints. But right now he has our number. Last year him and his Seahawks beat the Saints twice. Geaux Saints!

  13. American’s heart is changing for the better since when? People are just as racist as ever if Wilson was not a super bowl winning QB just a regular black guy with a regular job he wouldn’t be singing that tune.

  14. I’m kind of offended by this. Pretty sure there should be at least 1 white qb on the roster. Or we should at least make every team give a white qb a shot right? Oh it’s not like the Rooney rule is for minorities? Oh you mean minorities claim they want equality but really want special treatment? Got it.

  15. Keith Price was cut a month ago. Too bad, because Tarvaris Jackson is the one who should be cut.

    And we were calling ourselves the 12th man for 10 years before anybody even heard of Texas A&M.

  16. @niners 816, Why do you continue to repeat that same old nonsense about the Seahawk fanbase being established in 2011? I just don’t get that.

    Every game in the new stadium has been sold out since 2003. And haven’t you been told over and over that the #12 for that fans was retired in 1984?

    And as for Texas A&M, fans all over the country have been calling themselves the 12th man for decades. Who new they had patent on it. But when they complained Paul Allen made a generous donation to their University so Seahawks fans could continue to use it. Now however, we tend to just go by the 12s, I kind of like that.

  17. jjb0811 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:32 AM
    Doug Williams willed the Redskins to the SB in 1987, 37 years ago. Well more than 1 generation ago. Add in HoF W. Moon, Randall Cunningham, K Stewart, D. McNabb and a host more of black QB’s starting & being paid in that time frame destroys from your paragraph ‘that blacks might not have been given this opportunity a generation a go.’
    ___________________
    Do7g williams was a strike season, doesnt count. K stewart really? The difference is RW3 is well spoken and the media actually likes him. Different era and diff level of respect

  18. Once upon a time blacks were not considered suitable for playing quarterbacks or middle linebackers in the NFL. Now Seattle does not even have a token white quarterback on the roster. LOL

  19. Is it bad to hate Russel Wilson because of the fact that there is literally no reason to hate him?

  20. Didn’t realize it at the time, but we’re incredibly lucky to have Russ be the face of franchise for years to come.

    As for the comment about the fan base starting in 2011, ever heard of revisionist history? 2011 is when you started paying attention because that’s with the niners were relevant again. Ask Elway about the noise in the 80’s when we were in the AFC West… remember the noise rule?

    And, BTW, Texas A&M actually stole the 12th man… look it up… they just happen to trademark it first. Not that I care… every team should honor their fans somehow. Seattle has their own special way that just for us. Maybe in Santa Clara, you’ll find your own tradition that you get excited about, too…

  21. Props to Joe Gibbs for sure … Scouted Doug Williams for the Bucs which led to him being drafted by Tampa. … Love the poetic justice that Williams then returned the honor by delivering a Super Bowl trophy to Gibbs.

  22. “The amazing thing” is that Russell knew “after the game” that he was the second A-A quarterback to win the S.B. Let no one question Russell’s intellect after that epiphany.

  23. Keep repeating this lame line about “established in 2011,” and we’ll just keep hitting back with the facts:

    In 1984, Seahawks then-GM Mike McCormick (a Pro Football Hall of Famer who played primarily for the Browns) retired the #12 in honor of Seattle’s rabid fanbase and the deafening noise they created in the Kingdome.

    That was 30 years ago.

    Attempted insults like “established in 2011” are worth much when they are so easily refuted. It just foolishness.

    You need some new material.

  24. As a Niners fan, I actually like Wilson. With that being said..Seattle Seahawks fanbase; established: 2011. And before you say you were a fan before, you stole the 12th man from Texas A&M.
    ————————————————————–
    Yawn……

    Reigning Superbowl Champs……..

    #12 retired in Seattle, December 1984…….

    You mad bro?………………….

  25. “might not have been given the chance to play that position a generation ago”

    Such an ignorant thing to say. No less then 23 black QBs were drafted before Russel Wilson was even born. Him being the second black QB to win the Super Bowl is virtually meaningless if race truly is no longer at the forefront.

    And in point of fact the 12th man is term used in some capacity by tons of football teams. Seattle was never the first to use the term in reference to its fans; it’s merely the latest SB champ to do so.

    Sincerely, a Colts fan.

  26. Yep, the times they are a changing, but that doesn’t stop the constant disparaging comments about Obama on a football blog or repeated shots taken at black players’ greed or intellect or criminal proclivity.

    One thing for sure, while bigots will always hate being outed in public, they are mostly proud of it in private.

  27. Skin color is now a benefit to black qb’s, with the media and sports franchises so desperate to be politically correct black qb’s get far more benefit of the doubt. Case in point, geno Smith should be a third string qb based off of his play, not be talked about as a future franchise qb, Tebow was made fun of and criticized because of his throwing motion yet Colin kaepernick was named by jaws as the future best qb all time despite being unable to do the most important thing for a qb to do like have pocket presence and go through more than one read, and not to mention not once have I heard analyst question his throwing motion. Cam Newton is still considered one of the best qb’s in the league despite his stats declining in each of his years, only leading his team to 1 playoff birth in 3 years and having a losing record and a qb like tannehill still is questioned if he is a franchise qb and in a “make it or break it” year even though he improved on every stat in his second year but since he didn’t lead his team to the playoffs yet it’s somehow different for him. Don’t get it twisted, race is still an issue in sports, just not for black players.

  28. I was surprised to learn that the Seahawks ranked only 26th in passing yards last season, trailing teams such as the Raiders and the Jaguars.

    Russell is already one of the brightest young QB’s. If Seattle’s WRs can stay healthy, there is a lot of room to improve.

  29. Now that this subject has been politely brought up a second time, would everybody please go back to constantly complaining that Wilson is too short and his scrambling is going to get him placed on IR? Thanks.

  30. I never even thought about the fact that he was black. I was just happy we won.

    IMO we are making it an issue by talking about it. Lets just move on and let the best players play the game.

  31. “might not have been given the chance to play that position a generation ago”

    “Such an ignorant thing to say. No less then 23 black QBs were drafted before Russel Wilson was even born.”

    @ancientredmartian, In 1978 Warren Moon was the MVP of the Rose Bowl and then not drafted at all in the NFL draft. And they had 12 rounds back then!

    He had to play 5 seasons in the CFL and win a few Gray Cups before the NFL would even give him a chance. He then went on to have a Hall of Fame career.

    I would say things have changed a lot, wouldn’t you? If he was coming out of college today, he might well be the first player taken. He could be the biggest ground breaker for African American QBs of them all.

  32. Yep, the times they are a changing, but that doesn’t stop the constant disparaging comments about Obama on a football blog or repeated shots taken at black players’ greed or intellect or criminal proclivity.
    ————————————————————-
    I am not one for talking politics on a sports site, but can you please tell me how posting the following comment is racist?

    But white people are racist if they disagree with Barack Obama’s politics.

    (I have to assume this is the comment the above post is referring to, as it is the only comment mentioning the President.)

  33. 5 QB’s all African-Americans. That is racial. The Seattle Seapukes refuse to employ any white QB’s. Where is the outrage??? Complete discrimination.

  34. As a Niners fan, I actually like Wilson. With that being said..Seattle Seahawks fanbase; established: 2011. And before you say you were a fan before, you stole the 12th man from Texas A&M.
    ————————————————————–
    Yawn……

    Reigning Superbowl Champs……..

    #12 retired in Seattle, December 1984…….

    You mad bro?………………….

    17 6

    relax dude, 13 playoff appearances since 1976… Sure you are defending Champs and props to you, well not to you because you didnt help them win, but slow your roll buddy…Stop acting like this hasnt been the best 2 year run in team history….bro

  35. Great kid, but merely a slightly above average QB. Yes, the racial barriers for QBs have been broken down, giving more guys a chance, but it will be interesting to see just how many black QBs are really very good. Haven’t seen many so far.

  36. billsfan1 says: Jul 9, 2014 12:32 PM

    As a Niners fan, I actually like Wilson. With that being said..Seattle Seahawks fanbase; established: 2011. And before you say you were a fan before, you stole the 12th man from Texas A&M.
    ————————————————————–
    Yawn……

    Reigning Superbowl Champs……..

    #12 retired in Seattle, December 1984…….

    You mad bro?………………….

    17 6

    relax dude, 13 playoff appearances since 1976… Sure you are defending Champs and props to you, well not to you because you didnt help them win, but slow your roll buddy…Stop acting like this hasnt been the best 2 year run in team history….bro
    ———————————————————–

    This from a bills fan…..

  37. Wilson wrote a thoughtful piece for TheMMQB.com on the role of race and sports, after becoming just the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
    ___________________________

    Why is it that whenever somebody of mixed race accomplishes anything they always get the benefit of being ‘African American’. When Halle Berry won an Oscar why was she crying because she’s the first black actress to win one when she’s more white than black? Why isn’t Russell Wilson being heralded as the 2nd Native American to win a Super Bowl (Jim Plunkett being the first)?

  38. What is most exceptional about Russell, and the rest of the team is that unlike some, they leave trash talk where it belongs – on the field. Some of these comments…whew!

  39. …. and BTW, why is Tiger Woods the first AFRICAN AMEICAN golfer to win a major when he’s way more ASIAN than anything else? Is it that Nike and everybody else thinks that more blacks buy their products than people who are Thai and they’ve made him what they want him to be?

  40. Good enough point this article is making, but its terribly flawed: Russell didn’t win the SuperBowl – the Hawks Defense won the SuperBowl.

  41. Wilson is a republican. Republicans tend to not want to make skin color a major issue like democrats do.

  42. San Francisco (Santa Clara) 49er’s fan base established 2010 after both of them were let out of deep freeze where they had been hibernating.
    They are on the endangered species list and will likely disappear from sight after the 2014 football scene. A time capsule will be buried at Levi Stadium with an urn representing their remains along with another flyer containing instructions on how to be a fan.
    The time capsule will be unearthed 50 years later and the Niners will still be on a “Quest for Six”.

  43. Dalcow4 said:

    “Great kid, but merely a slightly above average QB.”

    I’m amazed that I still see comments like this about Wilson. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t he off to one of the most elite career starts in NFL history? Super Bowl win aside. Impressive rushing stats aside. Haven’t his first few seasons been unprecedented (or next to it) in Passer Rating and another key category or two?

    -Titans Fan

  44. All Seahawks fans know this has been a really good 2 year run for their team.

    Had a pretty good rum from 2004 thru 2008 run in included a Superbowl appearance.

    Also had a nice run from 1984 to 1988 in their first decade of existence.

    How many playoff appearances did the 49ers make from 1946 when then they started until their first Superbowl in 1981?

    And for all the Steeler fans who love to talk about there 6 Superbowl rings. How many playoff appearances did they have between 1933 when they started and their first Superbowl in 1974.

    And how about the Patriots from 1961 and 2001?

    Just like those teams, the Seahawks finally have a good management system in place between ownership and coaching and I’m expecting a nice run over the next 10 years or so just like they had.

  45. ctiggs says: Jul 9, 2014 12:57 PM

    I like wilson. hate the Shehawks go #Kapwillmakethemdance
    ————————————————————-
    #HowdidKapdointheNFCChampionshipgame?

    Aren’t hashtags stupid?

  46. youpeopleareallthesame says: Jul 9, 2014 1:09 PM

    I’m not quite ready to put him in my top 10.

    He’s getting close
    ————————————————————–

    We are all waiting anxiously for your next update on YOUR top 10………….

    Go Hawks

  47. Two things:

    “steelerben says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:57 AM
    bahoto34 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:46 AM
    jjb0811 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 10:32 AM
    Doug Williams willed the Redskins to the SB in 1987, 37 years ago. Well more than 1 generation ago.

    something about your math isn’t quite right there.

    “A generation is widely accepted to be 20-22 years. 37 years is not only well more than a singel generation, it is nearly two.”

    Time for somebody to point out that 1987 to 2014 is 27 years, not 37. And ‘singel’ is spelled ‘single’.

    “Wilson says he’s like Michael (and hopefully he doesn’t start having plastic surgery in an effort to look like Pete Carroll).”

    “That gave me a mental picture of him dropping back and doing the moon walk!”

    Great comment – I love it! I’m also pretty sure RW isn’t into remote estates and young boys, but personally, I’d think twice before comparing myself to Michael J.

  48. One thing that wasn’t mentioned by Darin: the first team with an African-American QB to win a Super Bowl demolished the Denver Broncos with a similar score of 42-10. Eerie…

  49. Now he can move on to answering questions about what went south between him and his smoking hot (ex) wife.

  50. So, while Johnny Football is rolling dollar bills up in a bar restroom in Vegas, Wilson, a Reigning Superbowl Champ, is writing an article about “the roll of race in sports.”…….I wonder which team picked the more focused QB?

  51. Wilson hardly jumps out at you as being African American. He looks like he could be a Brazilian soccer player. Known only as “Russell”.

    Like a lot of Brazilians, there’s plenty of European and some native blood somewhere back in the family tree. More than a quarter of “African-Americans” have a Y chromosome that can be traced to Europe, because they are descendants of a slaveowner father somewhere in their paternal lineage. Having seen pictures of Russell’s father and grandfather, he’s undoubtedly one of them.

    And for the record, I hope this is the last time I have to ever hear about his race. Sports (with the exception of maybe stereotypes at QB, WR, and in basketball) is a place where we can escape from ill-informed and ignorant discussions about race.

  52. abninf says: Jul 9, 2014 12:58 PM

    Wilson is a republican. Republicans tend to not want to make skin color a major issue like democrats do.
    _____________________________

    Best piece of comedy I have read in a while. You sir, are a legitimate Card!!

  53. abninf says he apparently knows Wilson is a republican ? Have you asked him in person about his political affiliations ? Standing outside the voting booth and polled him as he came out ? Let me guess ; he’s a Christian & you automatically believe all Christians have to be conservative republicans ?

    “Republicans tend to not want to make skin color an issue like Democrats do” … Wow , I had no idea ! When did that change ? A truly laughable comment ; I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard repubs call Obama “your black Jesus” .

  54. “But white people are racist if they disagree with Barack Obama’s politics.”
    _________________________________

    No, criticizing the current POTUS’ policies does NOT make white people racist. It makes you human.

    Claiming he’s an Un-American-Kenyan that somehow as a newborn masterminded faking is own birth in Hawaii and duped background checks by the FBI, CIA, etc., along the way to the WH, absolutely does.

    Sending around Christmas cards to your circle of Good ‘Ol boys of the Whitehouse with watermelons on the lawn and repeatedly slamming his religious faith and referring to him as a Muslim, calling him a Maccaca and insinuating the only reason we was able to go to Harvard and was voted the Head of the Harvard Law Review was because of Affirmative Action, does.

    Completely ignoring the fact that his mother was white and he was raised by his maternal (white) grandparents and saying he hates white people does. (This last one is a doozy because you literally have to overlook the fact he is as white as he is black)

    I could go on and bring up the numerous racist taunts and veiled racist insinuations, but methinks you get the gist…

    In reality, the dude is the embodiment of the American Dream. Started from nothing , and educated himself out of his poor start and eventually to the NY Times best seller list and then to the highest office in the World. He did what few could even dream of….

  55. Sorry Oiler fan, but I can think of a dozen QBs who have had batter starts to their careers. And everyone knows that passer rating is one of those stats which have been greatly skewed to the current game.

    Look– he’s a pretty good player. But he simply isn’t close to elite. Will he be as seasons come? Maybe, maybe not. He surely hasn’t yet shown the passing ability and touch to get there.

    Again– he is good. But there are 12-15 QBs who are currently better than he is. Any one of those could have led that great defensive team to the trophy.

  56. That’s the beauty of capitalism…the only color that matters is green.

    The QB can be black, yellow, or white – as long as he brings home the Lombardi – who cares?

  57. @niners816 how have we had a fanbase established in 2011 when we regularly sold out the kingdome and had the number 12 retired in the 80s? Get your facts straight niner “fan” you probably started liking the niners when Kap came along now didn’t you?

  58. Can not argue with anyone’s support for Obama. The ability to do that peacefully is one of the main things that separate us from the rest of the world’s political systems. I hope the next POTUS is A A as well….Dr. Ben Carlson ! Color interests me none at all. Quality leadership is everything. We can have respect and still disagree…The polarization of Americans by those with a veiled agenda should be apparent to anyone paying even a modicum of attention. DIVIDE AND CONQUER….a strategy as old as time and we are falling for it as a people, sadly. WE THE PEOPLE have everything to lose if we do not figure this out, sooner rather than later….

  59. dalcow4 says: Jul 9, 2014 2:51 PM

    Sorry Oiler fan, but I can think of a dozen QBs who have had batter starts to their careers
    ———————————————————–
    Can you please list each of these quarterbacks you are referring to, and show the information that proves that they had better starts to their careers?

  60. @fin72 the reason they say they’re the first African American is because of people just like you. when bi-racial people who look African American do something good like win the Superbowl,win an Oscar, win the Masters. people like you are quick to say ” well they’re actually more *insert other race here* than they are black”. But.. when those same people do something wrong THEN they’re just black. were you saying Halle Berry was more white than black when she got arrested for drunk driving? Were you telling people Tiger Woods was more Asian than black when he got caught up in his cheating scandal? I bet if those same people had a regular 9-5 and you didn’t know all about them you’d think of them as just black.

  61. qdog112 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 11:57 AM
    Yep, the times they are a changing, but that doesn’t stop the constant disparaging comments about Obama on a football blog or repeated shots taken at black players’ greed or intellect or criminal proclivity.

    One thing for sure, while bigots will always hate being outed in public, they are mostly proud of it in private.
    ___________________________________
    I’ve seen 0 bigoted comments on this post. What the heck are you talking about? I think your race meter is broken again (as usual).

    One reason no one is making a big deal about Wilson’s being black is that he doesn’t make it a big deal either for good or bad. Good for him, because it isn’t one. He’s a fine young man and a star in the making. Any team would be proud to have him as a QB.

  62. ok, the rules for naming QB’s that a certain poster may think are better than Russell Wilson.
    First off.. they have to have set records over the first two years that show that they are the only QB not named Marino to win so many.

    Oh wait.. the only QB that fits that description is RW… I guess we don’t need to go into abilities such as 4th quarter comebacks, game winning drives… rushing ability…

    Oh and lets not forget that the o-line was rated last in the NFL. Or that he played without a #1 WR for most of the season…

    meh.. you are dismissed..

  63. If the Seahawks stole the “12th Man”, as so many niner fans like to whine about, then who did Santa Clara steal the “49ers” from? That wasn’t original either—Bunch of gold-diggers.

  64. Quick primer on the 12th man and trademarks.

    First, in order to maintain a trade mark you have to defend your turf, i.e. sue others who try to use it if they don’t pay. Paul Allen got the opportunity to donate to a fine university while leaving defending the trademark to them. This way the Seahawks don’t have to bother mailing, making petty demands and suing other schools and NFL teams, as they wouldn’t want the hassle anyway.

    Second, while both Texas A&M and the Seahawks use the mark, they mean very different things. The A&M legend is about a guy coming out of the stands, suiting up and standing ready to play in a game they ended up winning. They feel that guy represents the student body so maintain it as a tradition. The Seahawks consider the noise of the crowd distracting enough to be considered another player on the field, a 12th man.

    Get it? Got it? Good.

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