Russell Wilson has known what it is like to have people not believe in him. As an NFL quarterback who is less than six feet tall, he did not have a lot of support in a game and a position where size does matter. This explains why he was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, even with first round talent. He was not going to be handed a franchise by the NFL, so Wilson worked towards success and role as leader of the 2014 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. Yet, on a recent flight to Seattle, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson felt the need to protect and serve a soldier on his way home.
United States Army serviceman Kane Bernas was heading home to Seattle, and to a seat in coach when first-class passenger Wilson spotted him. He made sure Bernas was upgraded to a first-class seat, just as a ‘Thank You’ for his service to his country. This act of kindness, respect, and generosity elicited a tweet from Bernas that went viral.
This brought about a response in kind from Wilson, explaining his sentiment and appreciation for Bernas. This is what he wrote on Twitter about his choice to protect and serve a U.S. soldier.
Wilson has had a difficult start to 2015 so far, taking a large amount of negative publicity worldwide for his interception in Super Bowl 49 that cost the Seahawks the championship. It does not seem to have tarnished his character or respect for the men and women in military service. In an era where the bad that professional athletes do is given first-class seating on the evening news, it is refreshing to see the other side of sports celebrity get its day in the sun, if only for a little while.
Wilson has also made news in the world of baseball after his rights were acquired by the Texas Rangers organization in their Rule 5 draft. Baseball was his first love as an athlete, and he has spoken about the slim possibility of being a two-sport player, in the ilk of 80’s stars like Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson.
“I’ve always had the dream of playing two sports,” Wilson said. “If somehow it was a miracle that it could work out, I’d consider it. At the same time, my focus is winning the championship with the Seattle Seahawks, and I hope to be playing for a long time.”
What many do not know is that Wilson has a history as a professional baseball player in the Colorado Rockies minor league system. He played 61 games in Class A Ashville in 2011, hitting .228 with a .366 on-base percentage, with 15 stolen bases. Safe to say that baseball is in his blood, and he spent time with the Texas Rangers in March, working out with the team. He performed drills with the middle infielders, carried the lineup card to home plate, and was on the bench during their 6-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Rangers manager Ron Washington was impressed with his work ethic and preparedness before the game.
Despair in January only led to hope that sprung eternal in March. Then a true reflection of his character in April. Life is never boring for Wilson. Russell Wilson found a way to protect and serve a soldier, and hopefully inspire and lead others to do the same.
By Evander Smart