Sportress of Blogitude

Some Seahawks teammates reportedly feel that Russell Wilson ‘isn’t black enough’


Amid the fallout of the Percy Harvin’s surprising trade from the Seattle Seahawks to the New York Jets last week, speculation is growing that shipping the talented but tempestuous wide receiver won’t be the cure for what ails the team, it is merely a symptom of a larger issue.

In a breakdown of the trade and an analysis of what may have possibly caused the seemingly sudden move , Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman suggests that part of the reason the Seahawks ultimately decided to part ways with the talented offensive weapon is the belief that there was a developing rift between the Harvin and quarterback Russell Wilson.

[O]ne Seahawks player said the biggest reason the team traded the wide receiver was his increasing animosity toward Wilson,” Freeman writes, “The player said Harvin was an accelerant in a locker room that was quickly dividing between Wilson and anti-Wilson.”

A fracturing of the locker room certainly would help explain have dropped two straight games and are sitting at a surprising 3-3. Strife among players rarely translates to an environment conducive to a winning atmosphere.

But it is surprising, on the surface at least, that Wilson is such a source of dissension and disagreement. After all, he did just lead the team to a Super Bowl championship and before the Harvin trade, appeared on all fronts to have the support and respect of his teammates. But Freeman suggests that despite his many redeeming qualities, for whatever reason, the fact that players feel he is too cozy with management is causing a rift.

“The main issue some players seem to have with Wilson is they think he’s too close to the front office, which is the same ridiculous thing some said about McNabb,” Freeman writes, equating the alleged situation splitting the Seahawks locker room to something that occurred during Donovan McNabb’s run with the Philadelphia Eagles. “How anyone could have a problem with Wilson—one of the best players in the sport and one of its best citizens—is unfathomable to me, but that’s the case.”

Freeman also reports that he has heard that Wilson doesn’t own up to his mistakes, that “a bad throw isn’t always his fault.”

Arguably the most controversial suggestion offered up by Freeman for why the locker room may be splitting into pro-Wilson and anti-Wilson factions is that some players don’t feel Wilson is “black enough.”

There is also an element of race that needs to be discussed. My feeling on this—and it’s backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players—is that some of the black players think Wilson isn’t black enough.

This, again, was similar to the situation with McNabb. And this, again, will be denied by Seattle people. But there is an element of this.

This is an issue that extends outside of football, into African-American society—though it’s gotten better recently. Well-spoken blacks are seen by some other blacks as not completely black. Some of this is at play.

That is certainly a controversial take by Freeman, but one that nevertheless arguably merits discussion, as Freeman notes that Seahawks players themselves have at least somewhat expressed the sentiment in interviews — albeit anonymously — which is hardly surprising in the least.

Whether or not it Freeman’s observations are an accurate assessment of what is going on in the hearts and minds of Seattle’s players and how it has contributed to creating a somewhat divisive and possibly toxic environment in the locker room, however, remains purely speculative at this point.

Still, it makes for a compelling angle, although an attempt to engage in a frank, open and honest discussion regarding such a sensitive topic is not without risk and fraught with the potential for conflict and misunderstandings. Regardless, Freeman’s column provides fodder for discussion and is sure to get some play in the coming days as the Seahawks attempt to halt their free-fall.