Throughout his NFL career, Russell Wilson has said one of his long-term goals was to own a sports franchise. Last week, the Seahawks quarterback officially joined that club when the Sounders announced that the Seahawks quarterback and his wife Ciara were part of a group of 11 families with local ties who joined the MLS team’s ownership group.
For Wilson and Ciara, the decision wasn't just a financial investment, but an investment in a region they have made home.
"I've always loved soccer, that was actually the first sport I ever played," Wilson said Thursday. "Then I started playing baseball shortly after. First of all, it's for our kids and for our family. I've always wanted to be a sports owner. Always wanted to get involved in helping cultures and continuing to establish them and grow them, be around great players. I love sports. I've also always loved the Sounders, just going to games. I love the crowd. I love the chants they do and clapping. It's pretty cool. I think it's something great."
Asked how things came together, Wilson said it began last fall with conversations between him and Terry Myerson, the former Microsoft executive who with his wife Katie led the formation of this group of investors.
"We kind of connected that there could be an opportunity," Wilson said. "I also know (Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer) pretty well too. We kind of talked about, 'Hey there might be an opportunity.' We said, 'Hey we would love to be involved, let's get this thing going. Let's get everybody enthused about it.'"
For Wilson and Ciara, their careers in sports and music have allowed them to reach large audiences and also see how their respective fields can touch so many people, which in Wilson's view made sports ownership a no-brainer.
"Sports and music, Ciara and I always say this, but sports and music are the two most entertaining things in the world," Wilson said. "Sports bring people together no matter what our race is, no matter what our socio-economic status is, no matter what gender we are or anything, it brings us together. I think the same thing with music, and we do that. To be able to bring people together to support the Sounders but also support our community. That's what we are really interested in in the Sounders. Our ownership with the team and partnership with the team is to really find new ways to bring people together and bring young kids to one, to get outside. Two, I think also to grow on the communication with others, I think that, nowadays, kids, to be honest with you, sit inside and play video games. There's nothing wrong with video games but to go outside and to communicate and socialize is key. To meet other people is so important and that's what soccer, that's what football, that's what baseball, that's what basketball, that's what all those sports can do. That's really our interest and really, also, for young kids to have a healthy lifestyle. Get kids out running around, having fun playing, having fun, put a smile on their face. I think, for Ciara and I, for Macklemore for example, for the whole ownership group, for (Microsoft CEO) Satya Nadella too, for Terry for everybody. We really wanted to just try and do something really special where our families could do something really cool in the community."
Photos from Thursday's practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Saturday's preseason game against the Los Angeles Charges.