The Hawks aren’t just for sports fans anymore

What the home team can teach us off the field

Taylor Jackson, Sports Editor

Last year we watched as the Seahawks took Seattle—and the rest of the country—by storm.

The team filled with rookies, fifth round picks, and the loudest stadium in the league blasted through regular season games and ultimately secured the Vince Lombardi Trophy, instilling immense pride and joy in those who lived in the rainy top left corner of the country.

However, at the start of this season everyone was focused on one question: would the team’s performance this year be able to match that of the whirlwind success it accomplished last year?

Even after a disappointing end to the season (due to a Play That Shall Not be Named), I’ve still found that the answer is yes—just not in the way that you’d think.

We all know that the team is filled with characters known league-wide (Russell Wilson, Beast Mode, even Pete Carroll), and if you’ve ever watched a game you know that what they can do on the field is extraordinary. But have you ever looked at what they do off of the field?

Just take a look at Russell Wilson. If you follow him on any form of social media, you’ve seen that he visits sick children and their families at Seattle Children’s Hospital every Tuesday. He’s even started a Strong Against Cancer campaign, which raises money to support the search for a cure to childhood cancer. Not only that, but he was even nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year. Taking time out of his busy schedule can’t be easy, and yet he never fails to stop by and put a smile on a child’s face. Compassion, not his ability to hustle under pressure, is Wilson’s greatest asset.

Likewise, Marshawn Lynch is the perfect example of what “actions speak louder than words” really means. He might not speak to the press (except for the occasional “Yeah,” or “Thanks for asking”), but he does fly down to Oakland, his hometown, every chance he gets in order to hold camps and benefits for the youth in the area. Not only that, but he’ll occasionally fly kids up to the Clink to show them around the field to inspire them to aim for great things in their future and show them that—no matter what or where they come from—they can conquer whatever they want. Sure he won’t talk to nosy, obnoxious reporters (not that all of us are that way), but he’s working to inspire kids and give them the avenues they need to succeed, and that’s something that I think we need to recognize.

And Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin? They’re the social activists of the group. When Lynch was fined $100,000 for not talking to the media, they came back with a media conference filled with subtle insults, irony, and slighted jabs that would put our own Backpage to shame. They weren’t afraid to speak out about the hypocritical problems that they saw in the league, and because of that, a rally of support has been brought to the players that are facing hard times at the hands of the NFL.

So sure, the Seahawks are what every athlete aspires to be: successful, famous, a force to be reckoned with on the field. But I think that the Liberty community can also look at what they’ve done off of the field and take some notes—maybe we’ll learn something to strengthen our school as well. Set good examples for your peers to follow, work hard at every task you come across, be kind to one another, and stand up for what you believe in, even if it’s not the popular choice or you’re the only one speaking out. Strong athletes are impressive, but the most inspiring and greatest among us are strong people as well. And everyone can learn from that, whether you’re an athlete, just a fan, or none of the above.