Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls loves his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
Rare were the conversations this season where Rawls didn’t mention the city back home or the important people in his life that continue to reside in the formerly bustling town.
The water crisis that has hit the city weighs heavily on the star Seahawks rookie.
“I can’t wait to go back home and help out with that,” Rawls said during the team’s locker cleanout last week. “I may even try to dig a well and connect it to another city or something. I want to be Superman to my city. I love my city. I don’t want to get emotional about it, but I will go home.”
Rawls currently remains in the Seattle area recovering from the broken ankle that ended his season in December. However, he’s expected to be out of his cast within a couple of weeks and plans to head home to help any way he can.
“I got a lot of family there, a lot of friends,” Rawls said. “That’s where I grew up at, so to know that the water is bad and to know that there’s not a lot being done back in Flint, Michigan is kind of upsetting, kind of emotional, just to know my family and friends and stuff are there. One thing I can control is do what I can do as far as on my end. That’s going back home, donating, having something around for the city as far as people having free water. Stuff like that.
“It’s kind of hard when you can’t even shower in your own shower. You can’t drink your own water. It’s kind of upsetting to know I got nieces and nephews and skin is breaking out. Or friends, they have kids. It’s already hard in the city, just because, but to add on that to your plate is kind of tough. One thing I can tell you about the people of Flint is that they’re tough and they’re built for it. That’s one thing I just want to display and show my gratitude through them and go back home and do a lot for the city.
“I am working on them right now,” he continued while fighting back his emotions. “I will be back home in Flint within the next few weeks and I will have something to give the city, because I’m able to now.”
Rawls had a breakout year after signing with Seattle as an undrafted free agent from Central Michigan. He rushed for 830 yards and four touchdowns in just seven starts while leading the league in yards per carry average.