NFL's Man of the Year Awardee honored God in his acceptance speech by quoting a Scripture that emphasizes love.
Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks won the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He accepted the award on Sunday during the Super Bowl pregame show and addressed the TV audience remembering his father and quoting a passage in the Bible, Christian Headlines reported.
Established in 1970, the award recognizes a player's excellence inside and outside the field. A player is nominated by each team. It comes with $250,000 donation to Wilson's foundation and makes him the second person to win the title after Steve Largent who won the same in 1988, his team's website says.
Wilson claimed that aside from his desire to have a long career, win multiple Super Bowls and dream to be in the Hall of Fame, he also wanted to make a difference and impact to his community.
He said that the award represents excellence for him and he looks up to Walter Payton as an example of that. Further, Wilson stated that being mentioned with the name like Payton is a blessing and honor.
Wilson was recognized for his philanthropy and efforts to serve in Seattle. He started by making regular visits to Seattle children's hospital as a newly drafted Seahawks player in 2012. Two years later, he founded "Why Not You Foundation" with his wife, Ciara, seeking to help the youth in fighting poverty through education. In partnership with Safeway and Albertsons, the foundation has donated more than $9 million to Strong Against Cancer. The couple have also helped raising more than $1 million for Friends and Children, an organization that helps people in poverty.
More to Christian Headlines' report, the Wilsons have also helped during the pandemic by donating 1 million meals to Food Lifeline and Feeding America. In partnership with Wheels Up, they have launched the "Meals Up" campaign and were able to raise money for 50 million meals.
During the speech, along with his words of appreciation to the NFL, his team, fans and family, Wilson also remembered his father who passed away in 2010.
"Dad, I can remember you telling me in the car one day, 'Son, love changes things.' Dad, you were right," he said. "... Mom, thanks for showing me how to love. Dad, I know you are smiling up there somewhere with Walter. To the Payton family, thank you for carrying on Walter's legacy," he said.
Wilson then proceeded to quote a passage of the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 13, highlighting love.
"To America, to the world, 'love is patient, love is kind.' Love changes things. The great Walter Payton once said, 'We are stronger together than we are alone.' Dad, I think Walter was right. To the young boy or girl who has a dream, who wants to make a difference, remember this one thing: 'Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.' Love changes things," he said.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 7, 2021
Aside from being a Super Bowl champion Wilson is also an eight-time Pro-Bowler.