Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has become one of the great success stories of the NFL.
In a new 14-minute video entitled The Making of a Champion: Seattle Seahawks, Wilson explains that things could have gone in a very different direction for him.
Via CBS Seattle, Wilson says he was a “kind of a bad kid” at one point.
“I used to beat up kids and bite kids and do stuff all the time,” Wilson said.
He changed when, as he explains it, Jesus came to him in a dream.
“I had a dream that my dad passed away and that Jesus came into the room and he was basically knocking on my door, saying, ‘Hey, you need to find out more about me,’” Wilson said. “So that Sunday morning I ended up going to church and that’s when I got saved.”
The video, produced by Seahawks players and coaches with high production values and editing and Rinaldi-esque music, features other members of the organization talking in general terms at first but ultimately about their Christian religious beliefs and values.
It culminates in a suggested prayer from long snapper Clint Gresham.
The not-so-subtle message from The Making of a Champion: Seattle Seahawks is that Christian believers always thrive, and that the Seahawks are a team of Christian believers. While we respect everyone’s right to believe whatever they choose to believe (and I’m a lifelong Roman Catholic), there’s a line that easily can be crossed when employment and religion become intertwined.
Non-Christians ultimately may not feel welcome if the team is perceived as promoting Christianity. If, for example, a Christian were working for an organization that overtly promoted a different religion, the Christian would eventually feel uncomfortable, and potentially unwanted.
So while we (or at least I) don’t disagree with the video’s overriding message, we’re not sure it’s the right message to be expressed by an NFL team that, under state and federal law, should be accepting of all religions — and of those who choose to believe in no religion.
Watch the video and draw your own conclusions about whether the Seahawks are pushing a specific religious agenda in a way that could make those on the team who disagree with that agenda a little uncomfortable.