Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his popstar wife, Ciara, could raise their newborn daughter, Sienna Princess, and her 3-year-old brother, Future, anywhere — but they are firmly planting roots in Bellevue.
“I enjoy the community,” Wilson said. “It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Bellevue has great restaurants, beautiful views, and fantastic people.”
It’s also close to many of the things that are important to the 28-year-old athlete — the things that give him even more star power than would another Super Bowl win.
Wilson visits Seattle Children’s Hospital nearly every week to give kids hope and cheer them toward recovery, a tradition known as “Blue Tuesday.”
“I have had the chance to meet so many amazing kids going through some hard times there. Their attitudes, positivity, and genuine smiles are the best part of my Tuesdays,” Wilson said. “Some of these kids have overcome a lot; when I get to visit a patient, we don’t talk about why they are there, we talk about their passions, school, and so many other things. These kids are my inspiration.”
Wilson also advocates with the Strong Against Cancer initiative to help push for a cure for pediatric cancer. He launched the Why Not You Foundation in 2014, hoping to motivate and inspire kids to become tomorrow’s leaders, and to align with other causes that are important to him. Those causes are numerous.
“My dad always encouraged me to think, ‘Why not me?’ ‘Why not you?’ This is something that has always stuck with me,” Wilson said. “I try to share this with the kids at my camps, when I visit Seattle Children’s, and to those I meet. Working hard to achieve your dreams is not always easy, but if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.”
Born on Nov. 29, 1988, in Cincinnati, Wilson grew up in Virginia and has been confident ever since he can remember, thanks to his positive upbringing. “I was always a confident kid growing up. Confidence has come from my faith and family,” Wilson said.
Wilson always excelled in sports — some might say it’s in the Wilsons’ blood. Both his grandfather and his father played college football and other sports. His younger sister, Anna, was a star basketball player at Bellevue High School and now plays for Stanford. Wilson also has an older brother he played ball with as a youngster.
The current Seahawk was an award-winning athlete in college and even in high school — he appeared in Sports Illustrated after his team won a high school state championship. Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks in 2012, led the team to its first Super Bowl win in 2014, and took them back to the Super Bowl in 2015. That same year, Wilson signed an $87.6 million, four-year contract extension with the Seahawks — making him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
Wilson’s father died in 2010 at age 55 due to complications from diabetes, but if you follow Wilson on social media it’s clear his dad still is with him every step of the way.
It is obvious Wilson’s heart is wide open, and he’s not afraid to show his sensitive side on or off the field. Try not to tear up reading the note he wrote to his mom, Tammy, this past Mother’s Day. Wilson shared the note with ESPN: “You are the definition of the perfect woman,” Wilson wrote. “Thank you for teaching me to respect each day as the gift it is … to live with unwavering faith, kindness, love, and perseverance.” He went on to thank his mom for taking care of his father, and staying strong through the darkest of times.
Now Wilson’s, and the rest of his family’s, days are jam-packed, and with a newborn in the mix, the family of four is busier than ever — you might find them spending an afternoon riding ponies at Fox Hollow Farm in Issaquah, lunching at Tuscan Stone Pizza, or having a romantic dinner at El Gaucho. Other times, the couple may be appearing on a red carpet, or Russell may be on TV hosting Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports Awards — that’s happening for a third time on July 16.
“During the off-season, I get my morning workouts in with my trainer, Decker, make sure I am eating right and putting the work in to be the best,” he said. “In the afternoons, I typically have meetings; spend time with my family; or work with my foundation, the Why Not You Foundation.”
Oh, and Wilson also has his Good Man Brand, a men’s lifestyle clothing line that can be found at Nordstrom stores and elsewhere. The company’s mission is, “Lead. Inspire. Live.” And $3 from every item sold goes back to the Why Not You Foundation. The foundation also hosted the Wilson Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament at Suncadia in Cle Elum in June to raise money.
“In our first year of doing business, Good Man Brand donated $90,246, so you can see through fashion and a focused mission, we are doing our part to make the world a better place,” Wilson said.
Indeed — making the world a better place is behind most everything he does. It is what drives him. He sees everything as a platform to spread a bigger message. And his faith in God is his motivation, another part of his life he openly shares.
“Giving back is something that was always taught to me; you serve your community to make it better,” he said. “Taking time out of your day to help someone or making a donation to your favorite charity can not only make an impact to that person or organization, but makes you feel like you have done the right thing. I would encourage everyone to take a minute and help those in need — together, we can change the world.”
“You serve your community to make it better.”