Seahawks QB Russell Wilson made a simple but powerful gender equality statement after a big win

It's not every day that you see an NFL player sporting a jersey of a professional female athlete. In fact, if most of us wrack our brains, we probably can't think of any day that we've seen that.

So when Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, walked out of the locker room after last night's last-minute win against the Minnesota Vikings, people took notice of his shirt—a yellow and green jersey with the name and number of Sue Bird, the Seattle Storm WNBA superstar player. The Storm just took home their fourth WNBA National Championship title.

But that wasn't all he did.


In the post-game press conference, a reporter asked him how he felt on the last drive in which he led the team on a 94-yard drive in the final two minutes of the game, ultimately completing a pass to the end zone on 4th and 10 to win the game. "What's going through your head?" the reporter asked.

Wilson smiled, chuckled, and said, "I feel like Sue Bird in the clutch, you know?"

It was a simple sentence, but a meaningful one.

Paola Boivin, who was a sports writer for the Arizona Republic for 20 years and the first female journalist ever inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, shared what the moment meant to her on Twitter.

"Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson just said, 'I feel like Sue Bird in the clutch.' In my era following sports growing up, I never remember a male athlete saying something like this. It seems simplistic, but this is powerful."

In many fields, including professional sports, girls and women had to have male role models prior to doors being opened for women to excel on the public stage. Then, once women went through those doors and made a name for themselves, women had female role models to look up to. But it's been rare to see it go the other way—to see boys or men express personal admiration for a female excelling in her field. And especially in a professional sport like football, which is pretty much entirely male, to have a star like Russell Wilson point to a female athlete as an example of the excellence he aspired to is, indeed, noteworthy at this stage of the game.

Someday, it won't be. Excellence knows no gender, and it's only outdated thinking and outdated ideas of manhood and masculinity that keep people locked in boxes of who our role models can be and how our fandom can be expressed. Russell Wilson is clearly a fan of Sue Bird, as is any Seattle resident who pays any attention to sports whatsoever. But he also clearly sees her as an athletic role model, and it's just awesome to see him express that so openly.

Wilson's sister plays basketball at Stanford, and he has been an outspoken supporter of women's sports in general. Here's a video of him from February sharing his and his wife Ciara's support on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Love to see it. The more we all support one another, the better the chances that all of us will excel. Thanks for setting the example, Russell Wilson.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.