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Russell Wilson’s Ups and Downs Over the Years

By Michael Mar 12, 2024

Russell Wilson is no stranger to headlines — both good and bad — since joining the NFL in 2012.

During his eight-year stint playing for the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson went through a divorce, tied the knot with Ciara, won a Super Bowl and became a father of kids Sienna and Win.

The quarterback was later traded to the Denver Broncos in March 2022. While Wilson and Ciara’s family was on a high when she gave birth to their daughter, Amora, in December 2023, Wilson’s career took a hit that same month as he was benched for the remainder of the 2024 NFL season.

At the time, head coach Sean Payton told reporters the decision was made in order to help improve the team’s offense, hinting that his own job could be at risk after the losing season “I can’t replace the entire offensive line. I can’t bring in five new receivers,” he stated, according to CNN. “If it continues over a period of time, there will be another guy here talking to you, as well. These are difficult decisions.”

Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Relationship Timeline

Scroll down to revisit Wilson’s ups and downs over the years:


Wilson and his first wife, Ashton Meem, split after two years of marriage. The following year, Wilson’s former Seahawks teammate Golden Tate shut down rumors that he and Meem had an affair.

“I did not have an affair with Russell Wilson’s wife, nor did I have anything to do with his divorce. That is laughable for anyone who knows us,” Tate told The Cauldron in January 2015. “His ex-wife, Ashton, is still best friends with my girlfriend. Russell and I were good friends when I was in Seattle, on and off the field — he knows the rumors about me were unfounded, damaging to my reputation, and an attack on my character. Anyone who circulated that rumor was just plain irresponsible.”

July 2016

Us Weekly confirmed that Wilson and Ciara tied the knot in England in front of over 100 family members and friends.

Chris Unger/Getty Images

April 2017

Wilson, who is a stepfather to Ciara’s son with ex Future, and Ciara welcomed daughter, Sienna. “Dear Sienna Princess Wilson, No matter how big the wave, we will always be your calm in the storm,” Ciara announced via Instagram at the time. “We Love You. Love, Mommy & Daddy. 7:03 pm 7 lbs 13 oz. 4.28.2017.”

January 2019

Ciara’s ex Future, whom she dated from 2012 to 2014, slammed Wilson for “not being a man” and stopping the singer from speaking negatively about the rapper online. “You not tellin’ her, ‘Bro, chill out with that on the internet. Don’t even talk to him. I’m your husband! You better not even bring Future’s name up!’” Future stated during a radio interview.

Wilson seemingly responded to the comment by sharing an Instagram pic of his kids, which he captioned, “All that matters. #Love.” Ciara also shared a pic of herself rocking a pair of black platform boots via Instagram, writing, “Rise Above.”

Future later clarified that he and Ciara “have no problems,” adding that he didn’t “hate” Wilson. “I don’t have nothing against [Russell] and I’m happy for them,” he stated during another radio interview.

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June 2020

Reflecting on his 2014 Super Bowl, Wilson recalled experiencing racism just days after leading the Seahawks to victory against the Broncos. Wilson explained that he was told, “That’s not for you,” while standing in line at a California restaurant.

“And I said, ‘Huh? Excuse me?’ I thought he was joking at first. My back was kind of turned. I had just come off a Super Bowl and everything else, so if somebody is talking to me that way, you think about [a different] circumstance and how people talk to you,” he explained to ESPN. “In that moment, I really went back to being young and not putting my hands in my pocket and that experience. That was a heavy moment for me right there. I was like, ‘Man, this is really still real, and I’m on the West Coast. This is really real right now.’ That really pained my heart.”

Wilson responded by telling the man that he didn’t appreciate the way he talked to him. “He just kind of walked off,” he added. “But in that little glimpse, even though it didn’t turn into something, what if it did?”

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

July 2020

Wilson welcomed his second child with Ciara, son Win. “Happy Birthday WIN!!! Mommy & Daddy Love You!” Ciara captioned a sweet Instagram video of herself, Wilson and hospital staff singing her son “Happy Birthday” after his birth. “Win Harrison Wilson 7.23.2020 8lbs 1 oz. .”

October 2022

Wilson left fans scratching their heads after he revealed he worked out for four hours during an eight-hour flight. “I was walking up and downs the aisles. Everyone was knocked out. I was doing high knees and working on my legs and everything else, making sure I was ready to rock,” he told reporters ahead of a Broncos game at Wembley Stadium in England.

Fans proceeded to poke fun at the athlete’s unusual workout routine via social media. “If you haven’t worked with a Russell Wilson, you’re the Russell Wilson,” one user wrote via X (formerly Twitter), while another joked, “Russell Wilson definitely reminded the teacher when they forgot to assign homework right before the end of class.”

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February 2023

Wilson’s charity, the Why Not You Foundation, faced scrutiny after USA Today reported that the organization was using more money on employee salaries and benefits than helping children in need. The organization and Wilson addressed the investigation at the time.

“Millions of dollars in funds raised by the Why Not You Foundation go through our partners who can deliver that money where it is needed more directly,” the organization’s chief financial officer, Scott Pickett, said in a statement to the outlet. “Those funds were raised, in large part, through the work of the foundation, but you would not see all of those dollars in the foundation’s tax documents.”

Wilson responded the controversy via Instagram not long after. “This [charity] means the world to me, has meant the world to me and will forever mean the world to me, and I just gotta say something.” he began an Instagram video. “For our Why Not You Foundation, over the past eight years, we’ve been so freaking blessed to meet so many amazing people, so many amazing kids along the way and to be able to also partner with some amazing brands.”

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

He continued: “With those partnerships we’ve been fortunate to be able to drive over 10-plus millions of dollars for pediatric cancer, for education and for hunger prevention and so much more. Those are the things that haven’t really been highlighted and talked about, but I just want to highlight those things.”

Wilson concluded his message by stating, “We’re going to keep learning, we’re going to keep growing, we’re going to keep getting better. But also too, we’re going to keep serving.”

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July 2023

Wilson was called out again by Future when the rapper seemingly dissed him in his and Quavo’s song “Turn Yo Clic Up.” In the tracks second verse, Future states, “I got it out the field / F–k Russell.” Wilson did not publicly address the lyric.

December 2023

Two weeks after Wilson and Ciara welcomed their third child, daughter Amora, Wilson was benched for the remainder of the NFL season. “God’s got me,” he tweeted in reaction to the decision. “Looking forward to what’s next.”

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

March 2024

Wilson was cut by the Broncos after two years ahead of the 2024 NFL season. “Broncos Country, Thank You!” he wrote via X, confirming his departure. “Over these last two years you have welcomed my family and me with open arms and have embraced us as members of the Denver community.”

The quarterback continued: “This city will always hold a special place in my heart. Our family grew here, we made countless memories and friendships and formed relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Wilson concluded, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. God’s got me. I am excited for what’s next.”

He was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers one week later.

By Michael

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