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October 3, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on his new foundation, Monday’s game, and more

As noted earlier today, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson had a lot to day today on a number of topics. Here’s the official transcript:

(On Pass the Peace) Well, you know I opened up my foundation last Tuesday. It originally was going to be called the Russell Wilson Foundation. I was thinking about it and I realize that one of the scriptures that I have been relying on is John 3:30 and it says that He must increase and that I must decrease. I realize that I don’t want my foundation to be about me. It’s about everybody else and my dad used to always ask me a question, he used to always ask me “Why not you?” Why not you be a Super Bowl winning quarterback? Why not you play professional baseball? Why not you get your education? And so that question motivated me. It was something that was kind of a kick start to what I believe was my discipline, my work ethic, and everything. So I been thinking about all the kids I see and all the people I get to meet, and one of the things I thought about was, I should call it the why not you foundation? I think the Why Not You Foundation, the whole goal, is to empower people; to empower people for change and to make a difference in the world. So for me, I thought it was a perfect idea. I was flying down to California during the bye week, and I was listening to the song Man in the Mirror, and I was thinking with all of the things going on in the world and all the things with domestic violence, I knew that the idea of Pass the Peace would be a great idea. I was thinking, ‘ok what can I do with it?’ I had been thinking about it for a while, the whole domestic violence situation and I knew that hopefully I could make a difference being the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, being able to talk to different people, and hopefully being encouraging as well. So the whole idea of pass the peace came along, ‘OK I play quarterback; how about I pass the ball to somebody;’ and I thought about peace, and what that means and came up with pass the peace. So it’s been a great imitative so far. I think within two-and-a-half hours, over 7.1 million that saw the video of me challenging Derek Jeter and Justin Timberlake. I’ve talked to both of them, Derek’s taken his picture of pass the peace and I think Justin’s in process of doing that; he’s in Australia. So that’s a new thing, I’m challenging two people every morning so it’s something different. I’m really excited about it; it something that all the funds go to National Domestic Violence Hotline, where they’re struggling to find funds to keep all the men, women, and kids in the shelters. I was able to call the hotline and talk to the CEO and all those people. It’s just a sad sad situation just to hear the situations that were going on. Hopefully, people can team up and pass the peace. The hashtag is #WNYPassThePeace. It’s been a very very good thing so far.

(On being Senior Editor) Yes, I’m going to be doing some writing. I probably won’t be able to write as good as you guys, but I’ll be working on it. The Player’s Tribune is a great thing. I’m tagging up with Derek Jeter obviously, we’re tag teaming there, and also Legendary, we been doing some things. So it’s a very cool situation, but like I said, my focus is on football. That’s the ultimate focus is playing great football and trying to win games. I think I do want to be an entrepreneur, I do want to be able to do different things; I’m not just about football. I think I have the power to influence and help others and encourage others so that’s part of it too as well, but I’m a very reserve person as well for the most part, but I do think that being able to step out into that and write articles show some videos, and do some fun things with Player’s Tribune, which is going to be a great thing for athletes is truly special.

(On what led to his timing to speak up) Well, I did the research – that’s what allowed me to kind of step up and I don’t think that I’m going to be the one that’s going to be able to raise a whole bunch of money but hopefully I can start it. That’s my goal, hopefully I can pass it on, pass the peace to one or two people, and they can pass it on to their friends, and hopefully we can start a movement. I think at the end of the day, to be able to start a movement, it has to be somebody to stand up and root for it and stand on that idea. I think it’s something special that we could all do. It’s takes two dollars, it takes five dollars, it takes ten dollars whatever it is that you can do. Ultimately, it’s my promise to do my part and I think you have to start with the individual. That’s kind of the idea of the Man in the Mirror song that I was listening too, which I love Michael Jackson as you guys know, but to think about that song Man in the Mirror, I have to do my part; that’s why I’m passing the peace to one or two individuals.

(Why domestic violence) I think some things you don’t have to shy away from; you know what’s right, you know what’s wrong. I don’t think you need to shy away from it. I don’t think I need to go into what I think people did right or wrong; I don’t think that’s my part, but I think the whole idea of the Why Not You Foundation, 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; that’s what the Why Not You foundation wants to support and help.

(On difficulty of revealing things in the article) Yes, it was difficult to write; to tell you guys I was a bad kid growing up. So to kind of go in-depth about that, I use to have anger issues, I use to get mad all the time, but for me I’ve been grace with a great family; with people that really have encouraged me rather than discourage me; that’s why I want to do the Why Not You foundation, the Pass the Peace initiative, and the whole idea of Player’s Tribune to write that first article, was kind of one of those things that, ‘ok I’m going to step forward, and do something. To tag up with Derek Jeter on that and to be the first one to really get involved with them on Player’s Tribune was truly special and an honor for me. I love Derek Jeter; a guy whose one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, but also one of the well-respected players as well. Very very good professional, does it right; that’s why everybody calls him the captain. He’s one of the best.

(On if Derek Jeter approached him about writing for Player’s Tribune) Yes, he approached me about it several months ago. He told me confidentially, I couldn’t tell anyone about it. It was one of those things where we had talked about it for a while and had been texting and calling about it; thought it was a really good idea to kind of step out and do something fun and exciting.

(On source of anger as a child) That’s an in-depth question. I think for me, I was so competitive, I thought that I own the playground. I thought I own the classroom; I thought I was bigger than how I really was. I thought I wouldn’t ever get in trouble for anything. I thought that that was the way to go; I thought that was being a man as a kid for whatever reason. So for me, as I transition, my faith really grew when I was 14 years old and so once I kind of got that in my life, I kind of knew what to focus my life on. I’m not perfect by any means now, but at the same time, I know that God’s grace; with what he gives me and how he has blessed me is something that’s truly special and I try to share that with other people.

(On worse things done as a bully) Oh man. Knock people’s teeth out on a regular basis probably. I use to bang their head up against the wall, use to throw them up against the wall. I use to curse all the time, I use to be a bad kid man, but I grew from that. I was young back then, it’s one of those things that I was a little bit immature but now I’ve transitioned into this maturation big time.

(On did any of the kids fight him back) As you guys look at me, I’m only 5’11 and I’m about 212 lbs. Back then, I was pretty big, I was pretty strong so no. I also had an older brother; I was also in varsity sports. I was in 8th grade playing varsity baseball. I was around bigger people all the time so I use to play pick-up basketball since 6th grade playing with the seniors. So for me, It was one of those things that I thought I was really bigger and older than I was so when I played with people my age, it was something that I wasn’t going to let them know feel.

(On apologizing to them) I haven’t seen any of them. They’ve gone missing for whatever reason. I honestly haven’t seen any of them lately.

(On what happened when he was 14) My faith, I got saved and I kind of changed my life big time. I use to always go to church to see the cute girls, and now I go to church to work on my heart. So that was kind of one of the things that kind of help me change a lot.

(On domestic violence in a male capacity) I don’t want to go in great detail of, why I picked the two people and why I didn’t pick others. It was just one of those things where, I knew I was going to pick Derek [Jeter], I had talk to him for a while and I was trying to figure out, ‘OK am I going to pick a man or a woman?’ I’m going to pick some women throughout this process. I thought Justin Timberlake was a guy that I just watched over the years. He’s a great entertainer, he’s a guy that’s well respected, a guy that does a lot of different things, a lot of people know him for what he does and how he does it. So I thought he’d be a great person to challenge. He’s young; he’s alive in the sense of who he is, and so I thought he was a great person to do. Obviously, Derek Jeter, like I said, because he’s so well respected. There are some other woman that I’m going to challenge; I’m not going to tell you guys who I’m going to challenge yet, but they’re very influential woman that I think would be very cool to pass the peace.

(On him being influential if he hadn’t won the Super Bowl) You’re probably right. If I hadn’t won a Super Bowl, it probably wouldn’t have had this much affect, but hopefully. I don’t think the affect comes through me though; that’s the great thing about it. I think the affect comes through other people. 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 where everyone wants to pass the peace and throw up their two fingers and hopefully it can change a generation, change the world because it’s not just an NFL issue, it’s not just a sports issue, this is across the United States. I called them and they told me and they told me they were having to turn down over four thousand, five thousand, six thousand people a day from different locations just because of not enough shelters, not enough counseling and so hopefully this money that we raise is good enough to build more shelters, good enough to bring more counselors in and help more people.

(On meeting Derek Jeter) I met Derek a year ago and then I met him again as I came out here. We were supposed to have a meeting so we met for a while when he played here for his last series against the Mariners. So we talked about a whole bunch of stuff and we’ve been communicating ever since.

(On Pass the Peace sweatshirt for sale) That’s what we’re trying to do, I thought about this whole why don’t you pass the peace thing about a week ago. So I’ve been quietly kind of been going through this whole process of building it up and getting things organized and talking to the right people about it. So hopefully you’ll be able to get the shirts on the WhyNotYouFoundation.com I believe eventually. So I’m let everybody know when that is.

(On what he’d say to the perpetrator of domestic violence) I think in my faith, I believe in forgiveness first of all. I believe that people can change. I believe that everybody is not perfect and people make wrong decisions all the time, but the great thing about the Why Not You foundation and Pass the Peace initiative is the promise that no matter how good I’ve been or how bad I’ve been or what I’ve done; boy, girl, man, or woman; I think the whole thought process for me at least is the man in the mirror; how can I change, how can I help others, how can I make a difference one person at a time? When we focus on the individual changing the world, one person at a time, we have a chance. If I just try to change all of domestic violence and tell everybody to stop all at once then that’s not going to happen right? But if we can help raise funds, one individual at a time; donate five dollars, ten dollars, one hundred dollars; whatever it is, and then pass the peace to two people.

(On Washington Redskins) In terms of the Redskins, they’re a very good football team. They had a tough one last week, but I know that going into that environment is going to be very very tough and it’s going to be a battle. They make a lot of plays and they have a very good offense and a defense that can flies around and shows you a lot of different looks so we have to be prepared and study and make the plays and just be consistent; stay on schedule especially since we’re going on the road so I’m excited to go back east coast. You know I’m from the east coast so it’ll be a lot of people there that I know and everything. My soul focus is just trying to play one play at a time and be in the moment and just enjoy it for what it is.

(On relationship with Kirk Cousins) He’s a great guy. I was able to work with him at the IMG academy when I was coming out for the NFL Draft and we were right there together and obviously we played against each other; Wisconsin vs. Michigan State, he broke our hearts at Michigan State; last second Hail Mary, which I’m still don’t know if he was in but it’s ok. We were able to win the Big 10 championship and go to the Rose Bowl, but I’ve been able to get to know him over the past two and a half years and he’s a great human being; a guy that works extremely hard. I have a lot of respect for Robert Griffin III too. I know he’s not playing but I know Kirk’s excited about getting his opportunity and he’s a great football player.

(On what playoff road win as a rookie do for his confidence) Well, I think to go on the road and play a playoff game in Washington, DC in a tough environment; 91,000 people, it’s not easy to do. We were able to stay one play at a time, and be in the moment, and just find a way to win a big game. So for me, I think that was huge in terms of going to the next playoff game and then going into the next season. For me though, my confidence never really waivers; No matter what the circumstance is and that’s something I think I’ve been gifted with and continue to try and work on is no matter what the situation is, still try to always have high confidence.

(On success in primetime games) In terms of the success of the Seattle Seahawks since I’ve been here I think is attributed to, first of all, our work ethic and how we practice. It’s the same thing every day; when we’re going to go as hard as we can, every play, one on ones, in the red zone, whatever it is we’re going to practice very very hard; that prepares us for those moments and when we get to the games like the Super Bowl, you’ve been there before. You’re playing against the best guys in the world and when you play against the best guys in the world they have that mind set and they have that drive like our defense does, like our offensive guys do, our special teams; it just translates into good things. I think that the game can never get too big; it’s one of those things where it’s still 100 yards, it’s still 53 and a 3rd like I’ve always say and it doesn’t change for us.

(On changing his emotions to get his messages to teammates) I think all of the teammates that we have are very driven first of all; they never really get flustered, but I think that is part of my job being the quarterback, especially when I’m in the huddle, when the game is on the line, it’s 4th and 7 against the San Francisco 49ers and it’s the NFC Championship game; this is it basically. You got to go in there calm and making sure that they know; this is the play, we’re going to make it, and it’s going to happen for us. I truly believe that’s going to happen every time. We were talking about that in the huddle yesterday because the guys always kind of make fun of me; Russell [Okung], Max [Unger], and a lot of times I’ll step into the huddle, ‘hey this is a good one,’ and so Max and Russ are always making fun of me yesterday. ‘Hey this is a good one guys,’ before I even walked in the huddle. But that’s what I believe, I believe that every play; whether it’s a hand off or a screen or a deep ball down field or it’s a 4th-and-7 against the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship game, I believe it’s going to be a good play. I don’t know it’s just my mind set.

(On teammates keeping him composed) Yes, the guys that we have there as good as its gets. So they help me play well; they help me stay focused and they help me be in the moment. A lot of it’s to them and a lot of it’s because of our coaches too; the demeanor of Coach [Darrell] Bevell, the demeanor of Coach Carl Smith, my quarterback coach, the demeanor of coach [Pete] Carroll and the rest of the coaches that we have on our staff. They’re so positive, they believe in us, they believe that we’re going to make the plays, and also Coach Carroll puts us in those situations time and time over and over again; in walk-thru, practice, and training camp so we’ve been there before.

 

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