In an article published Wednesday in Derek Jeter's new online publication, theplayerstribune.com, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson admitted that he was a bully as a kid, would resort to biting his peers, even knocking the teeth out of other children's mouths.
Gotta give it up for the ex-Yankee captain. He was a positive influence on the great American pastime and it appears he is going to be socially impactful in his retirement.
In the first "unfiltered" article entitled, "Let's Talk About It," Wilson takes on domestic violence which has had a pervasive and devastating impact on our society as a whole, and specifically highlights how his bullying was turned into loving after fnding religion as a 14-year-old and how the NFL and its players can be better role models, regardless of the troubling stories of late regarding the conduct of some of the league's players. Wilson believes he and others can be agents for change.
"I used to beat people up. Truthfully, I used to beat people up a lot. Many of you readers probably think I have been Mr. Goody Two-Shoes my whole life, but honestly, I was a bully growing up. In elementary and middle school, I threw kids against the wall. I rubbed their heads in the dirt at recess. I bit them. I even knocked teeth out.
I had a lot of anger that I didn't know what to do with. Thankfully, I was saved by my faith when I was 14 years old, and was able to start living for others instead of just myself. But if you've ever been at the bottom of a pile with me, you know that I still have a bit of that bully deep down insideâ€”just ask DeMarcus Wareâ€”and I work hard to keep it there.
As NFL players, we do not play a gentle game. But our hits, our anger, our aggressive behaviors need to be regulated and confined to the field. Recent incidents of domestic violence have forced The League, its fans and the players to take a hard look into our collective conscience. To be honest, many NFL players are reluctant to address such a sensitive issue. How do you fix a problem so big and complex? How do you speak about something so damaging and painful to families?
Domestic violence extends far beyond the spotlight of the NFL. It's not unique to my profession. It's not confined to America. All over the world, right at this moment, men, women and children are taking refuge in anonymous shelters. Many more are suffering silently, without protection. Every day, up to 10,000 Americans are turned away from shelters due to lack of resources."
Wilson further discusses his foundation and how average joes can make a difference in taking on the domestic violence issue.
The "Why Not You Foundation," is aimed at "raising funds and awareness for a number of worthy causes." The Super Bowl-winning quarterback is also askS people to "Pass the Peace" -- "The idea behind Pass the Peace is simple: It's a promise. I'm sharing my love for you. I want to take care of you. I am here for you," Wilson explains -- and make a $2 donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Wilson passed on the chance to take any of his accused fellow players to task for their alleged actions.
Instead, he cast a wide net, writing, "I can't fix the world. I can't fix the NFL. I can't change the guys around me. The only person I can change is the one in the mirror. I'm not a perfect person by any means. I'm just a recovering bully. But if we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don't exist, then maybe we'll leave the world a better place than we found it. For those of us in the NFL, there's no excuse for violence off the field."
Wilson is the first athlete other than Derek Jeter himself to write a piece for the retired New York Yankees superstar's new blog/website. Jeter's goal is for theplayerstribune.com to act as a conduit to unfiltered access to pro athletes, "a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel," Jeter penned in an introduction to the new publication. Wilson is also listed as a "Senior Editor" for the site.
It is not known if Wilson's piece will act as the future template for upcoming esssays from other athletes. Jeter's new blog site is definitely off to a compelling start.
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