Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Named one of ‘Earth’s Mightiest Athletes’

Russell Wilson isn’t just a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks — he’s one of Earth’s Mightiest Athletes, a title that’s not so different from Earth’s Mightiest Heroes aka The Avengers. 

Today, it was revealed that Russell Wison has been named one of Earth’s Mightiest Athletes as part of the new collective of sports superstars that embody the positive characteristics of Marvel’s favorite superheroes. 

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Named one of ‘Earth's Mightiest Athletes'

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson celebrated being named one of ‘Earth’s Mightiest Athletes’ with visit to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, June 20, 2021, alongside Captain America and kids he's worked to support through his Why Not You Foundation. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

The title of Earth’s Mightiest Athletes is meant to acknowledge and honor sports champions that making positive change, by recognizing their outstanding achievements on the playing field and their super-powered community service.

Wilson, the first to join the inaugural all-hero athlete team, has been recognized for exhibiting the qualities of Captain America, including agility, strength, and courage for those most in need. He founded the Why Not You Foundation with his wife Ciara in 2014. The nonprofit is dedicated to fighting poverty through education and empowering youth to lead with a “why not you?” mindset. 

The full consortium of Earth’s Mightiest Athletes will be honored at the Sports Humanitarian Awards on July 12 in New York, with a special airing on July 24 at 2 PM (ET) on ABC. Joining Wilson on this elite team of super-involved athletes will be those guided by the core principles of confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and respect. The team’s collective action provides a useful and practical lens for the athlete humanitarian, the athlete mentor, and the athlete activist. 

“Captain America possesses the same never-give-up spirit that I aspire to achieve every day, especially when it comes to helping kids,” said Russell Wilson. “It’s very cool to be viewed on the same level as such an iconic hero, and very special to get to celebrate Father’s Day with some of the world’s most inspiring young people at The Happiest Place On Earth.”

To commemorate Wilson’s new title, the Earth’s Mightiest Athlete spent Father’s Day in Anaheim with a group of Los Angeles-based kids that he supports through the Why Not You Foundation, alongside his wife Ciara. 

Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks
As a part of the celebration of Russell Wilson being named one of ‘Earth's Mightiest Athletes' kids from Russell's Why Not You Foundation were treated to a special shopping spree visit to the LEGO Store in the Downtown Disney District on June 20, 2021, where they got to take home Captain America-inspired LEGO sets and collectibles, among others. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

They lived out their own superhero dreams at the all-new Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure, meeting the real Captain America and enjoying the web-slinging fun of WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. The magic continued with a surprise stop at the Downtown Disney LEGO store, where he and his special guests got to take home new Captain America-inspired LEGO sets and collectibles.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers, have shown us time and again that when we refuse to give up, we can conquer any challenge,” said Ken Potrock, president, Disneyland Resort. “Russell exemplifies excellence on the football field, but the work he has done to support at-risk youth and their communities creates a lasting legacy just like Captain America. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his outstanding achievement than a visit to Avengers Campus, our destination for all heroes.”

In September 2021, as a part of his continued effort to impact young people, Russell and Ciara will celebrate the grand opening of  Why Not You Academy, a tuition-free charter public school just south of Seattle that focuses on building achievement, community, and empowerment, and prepares students to create and thrive in future careers. The school hopes to enhance the mission of the Why Not You Foundation by providing today’s youth with tools to become tomorrow’s leaders with a ‘why not you’ attitude.

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson and wife Ciara celebrate Russell being named one of ‘Earth’s Mightiest Athletes’ with visit to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, June 20, 2021, alongside Captain America and kids they've worked to support through their Why Not You Foundation. (Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

The Why Not You Foundation isn’t Russell Wilson’s only charitable endeavor. He has also worked to donate more than $9 million to support the fight against cancer and has spent his nine-year career with the Seahawks making weekly visits to patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital. During the pandemic, Wilson donated a million meals to families in need. 

In February, Wilson was named the NFL’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field and is the most prestigious award a player can receive. Additionally, he has been a strong advocate for social justice and equality. In 2020, Wilson co-hosted the ESPY Awards with Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe, during which he opened the show with a moving speech about the fight for racial equality in response to the movement for Black lives across the world.

Wilson and the full consortium of ‘Earth’s Mightiest Athletes,’ will be honored at the Sports Humanitarian Awards on July 12 in New York, with a television special airing on July 24 at 2 p.m. ET on ABC.

To find out more about the Why Not You Foundation, and how you can help, visit their website. 

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Maggie is the Managing Editor of Entertainment for Your Money Geek and a lover of all things Star Wars and pop culture. She is a freelance writer, podcaster, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild.