Seahawks Insider Blog

Senior editor Russell Wilson, on Derek Jeter's new frontier in athletes' interaction with fans, opines on domestic violence

Click on the front page today of Derek Jeter's new athletes website, The Players' Tribune, and you'll see Jeter's new senior editor.

It's Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, complete with a closeup of him in his Seattle uniform and his signature.

Click on that, and you will read the usually controlled, conservatively messaged Wilson writing and opining on the hottest-button issue in the NFL, if not society, today: 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."

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 says.

Another, big-picture aspect of this: Players -- prominent ones, across all sports -- are seeking avenues now beyond social media for direct interaction with fans. Blogs like Richard Sherman's and Earl Thomas', for instance.

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 Derek 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.'"

We will see what this means for the media and how athletes interact with it going forward.

Wilson, by the way, is scheduled for his weekly media availability with us here in Renton tomorrow.

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