Russell Wilson was one of the hosts of the 2020 ESPY Awards, and he wants changes to be made. At the start of Sunday night's show, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback delivered a strong opening, talking about the Black Lives Matter movement. Wilson is one of the many athletes who have spoken out against racism, and the opening to the EPSY Awards showed how committed he is to making a difference.
Wilson starts off by naming some of the best Black athletes in history including Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and Bill Russell as they made a difference on and off the field. "What if we didn't know their names? What if they were never a part of the conversation?" Wilson asked while wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. "And there's also this conversation: ‘I can't breathe. I can't breathe.' Those were George Floyd's last words…Our country's work is not anywhere close to done. We need justice." Wilson goes on to say: "We need true leadership. We need a change. We need it now."
Wilson, who is married to recording artist Ciara, talked about her and his children in the opening. "I look at my children and I pray for a better future. A world where the color of their brown skin doesn't stop them from their calling, from their purpose and from their destiny," he said. "I pray for a world where I don't have to fear for my children from systemic racism due to hundreds of years of oppression. The only thing that must die is racism. Black Lives Matter."
Wilson ended his opening by asking his White teammates to be active in the movement. "So where do we go from here? As millions of people of all colors protest, I see a world of hurt, pain and despair. I also see a new generation. A generation that is calling out in desperate need for lasting change," Wilson stated. "To my white teammates and friends, we need you to lead, too. Don't just listen. Help." Wilson has dealt with his share of racism over the years. Earlier this month, Wilson shared a story about a racist encounter at a restaurant in California after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2014.