Earlier this week, Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman wrote about the ongoing saga in Seattle in the wake of the Percy Harvin trade. Specifically, some Seahawks players think third-year quarterback Russell Wilson is too close to the front office, and doesn't always take blame for his mistakes.
Then there's this: "There is also an element of race that needs to be discussed," Freeman wrote. "My feeling on this -- and it's backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players -- is that some of the black players think Wilson isn't black enough."
We talked about Wilson's blackness on the Eye on Football podcast, which you can listen to by hitting play on the episode (10/22) below (and that led to this tweet). But on Thursday's SportsCenter, Kenny Mayne added this to Freeman's story:
“Two sources — one inside the team, one outside of the underachieving 3-3 Seahawks — tell me that much of what was written in Mike Freeman's Bleacher Report column is true,” Mayne said, via PFT. “(Freeman) wrote of turmoil involving since-traded Percy Harvin and the quarterback Russell Wilson that led to a more widespread internal battle pitting those for Russell Wilson and those against.
"And Freeman surmised on his own an issue among some teammates regarding Wilson that quote, 'he isn't black enough.' A certain expected behavior based on color, apparently. One of the sources told me, quote, I don't know how he got all that stuff, but it's pretty much true. We do have a divide. We're working on it. Thursday that notion was not presented to Wilson, but over and again, questions came about Harvin's departure.”
First, as PFT's Mike Florio points out, Freeman didn't "surmise" this. It was his feeling "backed up by several interviews with Seahawks players." Second, "that notion" was presented to Wilson.
“There's no division in our locker room,” the third-year quarterback told the media. “There's none at all. If anything, I think we've continued to build, continued to grow. I truly believe that. I think that the guys that we have in the locker room, the guys that believe that we can still go 1 and 0 and still be a championship team; those are the guys that we have sitting in this room every day. Every morning when we wake up, we're looking for one common goal and that's to win football games.”
Wilson also addressed his relationship with Harvin.
“Percy and I never had differences,” he said. “He's a guy that, you know, we had a lot of similarities, probably, if anything. You know, guys that want to compete at the highest level, want to win every single time you step on the field. Want the ball in our hands, to make the big play and everything. So I'm not sure why the media tries to blow everything out of proportion, it's part of it, I guess. You have to deal with it. But you also ignore it, too. Like I always tell you guys, ignore the noise. You know, Percy's a Virginia guy and I wish nothing but the best for him.”
We'll repeat what we've said all week: However some of Wilson's teammates view him, the reality is that we're only hearing about it now, as the Seahawks struggle. It never came up last season as Seattle was on their way to winning the Super Bowl, which just reinforces the cliché that winning fixes just about everything. And if the Seahawks start playing well, we're guessing players won't care if Wilson turns out to be C. Thomas Howell.