Seattle's Russell Wilson not shy in addressing domestic violence: 'You know what's right'



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RENTON, Washington — Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he didn't feel he needed to shy away from addressing domestic violence in his first column for Derek Jeter's new website.

Wilson spoke Friday about his "Why Not You Foundation" and his "Pass The Peace" initiative with the goal of helping raise funds to support victims of domestic violence. Wilson said there was no hesitation on his part to address a topic currently at the forefront of conversation.

"I think some things you don't have to shy away from. You know what's right, you know what's wrong and I don't think you need to shy away from it," Wilson said. "I don't need to go into what I think people did right or wrong, I don't think that's my part. But the whole idea of the 'Why Not You Foundation' and the whole idea of 'Pass The Peace' is what can we do to move forward? What can we do now and what can we do in the future?"

Wilson spent most of his weekly availability talking about his foundation and the response to his first column for Jeter's new site, "The Players' Tribune." Wilson went more than 10 minutes before he was asked a question about Monday's matchup at Washington.

Wilson revealed in the column that appeared Thursday that he was a bully as a child and didn't grow out of that phase until he was a teenager. He expanded on that, saying his competitiveness was often at the root of his anger. He went so far as to call himself a "bad kid."

"I thought I owned the playground. I thought I owned the classroom. I thought I was bigger than who I was. I thought I would never get in trouble for anything. I thought that was the way to go. I thought that was being a man, as a young kid, for whatever reason," Wilson said. "And so, for me, once I transitioned — my faith really grew when I was 14 years old, so once I kind of got that in my life I knew what to focus my life on."

Wilson only launched his foundation last week during the Seahawks bye and it was on a flight to California that he decided that raising funds for domestic violence victims would be his first goal. Wilson spoke with the head of The National Domestic Violence Hotline, the organization benefiting from Wilson's initiative. Wilson said he wants to start the conversation and hopes it grows. He also understands that winning a Super Bowl title helps in getting recognition.

"If I hadn't won a Super Bowl I don't know if it would have quite as huge of an effect, but hopefully," Wilson said. "I don't think the effect comes through me, though. That's the great thing about it. I think the effect comes through other people and I'm just a small little part of it. I just had the idea. I just wanted to pass it on. So for me, hopefully it becomes like wildfire."

Wilson first met Jeter about a year ago and the two had meetings in June, when the Yankees were in Seattle, about Wilson's role with the website.

"I'm a very reserved person for the most part but I do think that being able to step out into that and write articles and to do some videos and do some fun things with 'Players Tribune,' which is going to be a great thing for athletes, is going to be something truly special," Wilson said.


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