Named on the home page of newly retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s new athletes’ website, The Players’ Tribune, is Jeter’s new senior editor.
It’s Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — complete with a close-up of him in his Seattle uniform with his signature and jersey, No. 3.
In his first column, the usually controlled, conservatively messaged Wilson opines on the hottest-button issue in the NFL, if not society: domestic violence.
“I used to beat people up. Truthfully, I used to beat people up a lot,” is how Wilson begins his first column for The Players’ Tribune. “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.”
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Wilson went on to write that the league’s recent issues of domestic violence — most notably and egregiously the case of now-former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice — have forced NFL players, staff and fans to “take a hard look into our collective conscience.”
Wilson, who turns 26 next month, also writes that he has started a Why Not You Foundation. Wilson writes he will be “raising funds and awareness for a number of worthy causes. It’s a place where I plan to give back, and for my first initiative, I want us to Pass the Peace to support victims of domestic violence.
“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 writes.
“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 teh NFL, there’s no excuse for violence off the field.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he talked to Wilson on Wednesday about the quarterback’s piece about domestic violence. And Carroll was all for it.
“I’m really proud of him,” Carroll said. “He’s involved himself in a very critical issue that maybe he can all elevate awareness, like we are all trying to do for the right reasons. I think his statements were all well thought out and very clear.
“Pass the Peace is a pretty cool thought. I think it fits him very well. More than that, I hope it has an impact.”
The Players’ Tribune describes itself as “a new media platform that will present the unfiltered voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before. Founded by Jeter, The Players’ Tribune aims to provide unique insight into the daily sports conversation and to publish first-person stories directly from athletes. From video to podcasts to player polls and written pieces, The Tribune will strive to be ‘The Voice of the Game.’ ”
Wilson is scheduled for his weekly media availability Thursday.
JAY GRUDEN ON BROTHER JON … RETURNING TO COACHING?
The Oakland Raiders’ head-coaching job is open yet again, and they’re in the process of looking for their eighth coach — not including current interim coach Tony Sparano — since Jon Gruden last coached there in 2001. Gruden, now 51, went 38-26 and 2-2 in the playoffs from 1998-2001 as owner Al Davis’ young whiz, first-time head coach.
He’s now ESPN’s Monday Night Football commentator who will be calling the Seahawks-Redskins game. He’s also the favorite candidate of dreaming Raiders followers to coach again in Oakland.
Jay Gruden, Jon’s younger brother by three years, is in his first months as head man for the Redskins. Asked if Jon would ever return to coach the Raiders:
“Nothing would surprise with Jon,” Jay Gruden said.
“I don’t want to put words in his mouth or predict anything; he hasn’t told me one way or another. He loves what he’s doing with ESPN, I know that for a fact. But I also know he loves coaching and I know that for a fact. He’s got one of the greatest jobs in sports and he loves ESPN and loves what he does, but I also know he loves the competitive nature of coaching. I also know that he hates coaching from time to time — kind of like I do on a Sunday night when you go home.
“I don’t know; it wouldn’t surprise me one way or the other. He’s got two great jobs that he could do.”
RB Marshawn Lynch was on Thursday’s practice-participation report for not participating. The team cited NIR — “not injury related.” In other words, he got his normal, mid-week rest. … Carroll thinks rush end Bruce Irvin will be able to play Monday, but he’ll try out his hurt rib in practice this week first. The first test was Thursday, when he practiced in a limited manner. “We have to get Bruce back on the field through this week. That is probably our biggest concern,” Carroll said of his relatively healthy team, other than TE Zach Miller being out after last week’s ankle surgery. … Carroll reiterated CB Tharold Simon, who had minor knee surgery last month, is likely another week away from returning to practice.