Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, is recalling a racist experience he endured back in 2014 just after he won the Super Bowl.
“When you think about the idea of Black Lives Matter, they do matter,” Russell told ESPN. “The reality is that, me as a black person, people are getting murdered on the street, people are getting shot down, and the understanding that it’s not like that for every other race. It’s like that in particular for the black community. I think about my stepson, I think about my daughter, I think about our new baby boy on the way, and it’s staggering to watch these things happen right in front of our faces, so I have a heavy heart right now.”
“Being black is a real thing in America,” he said. “It’s a real thing in the sense of the history and the pain, even my own family, personally.”
He then recounted just after the Super Bowl, standing in line for breakfast at a restaurant in California.
An older white man said to him “That’s not for you.”
“And I said, ‘Huh? Excuse me?’ I thought he was joking at first,” Russell said. “My back was kind of turned. I had just come off a Super Bowl and everything else, so if somebody is talking to me that way, you think about [a different] circumstance and how people talk to you. In that moment, I really went back to being young and not putting my hands in my pocket and that experience. That was a heavy moment for me right there. I was like, man, this is really still real, and I’m on the West Coast. This is really real right now.
“That really pained my heart. But in the midst of that, what I understood was — and [what] my dad always taught me was — to not lash back out in that moment because then it becomes something that’s hard to deal with. So I said, ‘Excuse me, sir, but I don’t appreciate you speaking to me that way.’ He just kind of walked off. But in that little glimpse, even though it didn’t turn into something, what if it did? That’s the sad part about this, what we’re talking about,” he added.
Russell‘s wife Ciara recently spoke about her son and raising him amid the Black Lives Matter protests.
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