Russell Wilson booed during Sue Bird tribute video, tension-filled reunion on the horizon

Aug 13, 2022, 9:06 AM | Updated: Aug 15, 2022, 9:23 am
seattle seahawks...
Head coach Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks interact on the sidelines during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

As the Seahawks prepare for their first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattleites were reminded once more of its former franchise quarterback’s departure when Russell Wilson made a surprise video appearance to congratulate Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird on her Hall of Fame career.

His segment in the tribute video was met with a shower of boos at Climate Pledge Arena earlier this week. It was Bird’s final regular season home game with the Seattle Storm.

Multiple reporters all heard boos among a portion of the 18,000 in attendance for the soon-to-be retiring WNBA legend, giving Seattle a glimpse of the reception Wilson will receive when the Seahawks host him and the Broncos Week 1 of the regular season.

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“Thank you Russell Wilson, but we are in a new relationship. That’s all. That’s what I’ve learned about this place,” Gee Scott said in response to the booing on the Gee and Ursula Show. “We don’t hang on the past as much as people think. We don’t like to just talk about the past and Russell Wilson, bless his heart, he’s the past. It’s over. That’s it. And when he retires, I’m sure his No. 3 will be in the rafters. He will one day go into the Hall of Fame. And we will celebrate Russell then.”

Gee went on to say Wilson belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Seattle athletes.

“Do I think Russell should be on the top four? Don’t tell anybody I said this? The answer is yes, he should be,” Gee said. “Because without Russell Wilson, the Seahawks do not win a Super Bowl.”

Not all hometown returns have been ugly for past Seattle greats though, as Mariners fans flooded Safeco Field with cheers and homemade signs when Ken Griffey Jr. finally played his first game in Seattle as a Cincinnati Red in 2007.

While Marshawn Lynch never returned to Seattle during his two-year stint with the Oakland Raiders (he faced his former team in Oakland, losing 27-3), the Seahawks brought the five-time Pro Bowler back late in the 2019 season. He received a standing ovation when he stepped onto the field against the San Francisco 49ers.

Other former stars have also received not-so-friendly welcomes to the emerald city, including Richard Sherman, the five-time All-Pro who led the league in interceptions the year he and the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. He voiced plenty of criticisms earlier this year on his podcast about his departure from Seattle.

“You either leave the hero, or you stay long enough to become the villain,’ Sherman said. “These fans had never won anything before we got here, they went to the Super Bowl in ‘06 and they were happy to be there. And that was their biggest claim. Then we get there, we win a Super Bowl, we spoil them with a historic defense, and then all of a sudden that’s their expectation.”

Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks will host Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos Sept. 12 for one of its two primetime games this season, pending Week 18’s schedule next January.

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Russell Wilson booed during Sue Bird tribute video, tension-filled reunion on the horizon