05 January 2020 06:37
Lockett's words harked to a different time, when the Seattle locker room wasn't as much of a "safe spot." In the seasons that shadowed the Super Bowl interception, fault lines developed on a team bursting with young, iron-willed stars. A faction of disgruntled teammates fumed that Wilson was overhyped and coddled by Coach Pete Carroll and management. "It was like brothers growing up together," Carroll said. "You grow up and you are battling, and you are fighting and wrestling. It was natural that things were not all going to be smooth.
There were rivalries, and everybody wanted to be great. It was challenging and hard. Hard for the egos. Hard in all directions. But it was also natural." Wilson grew up middle class in Richmond, Va. His late father was a Dartmouth-educated lawyer, and his mother a nurse. He attended predominantly white private schools through 12th grade. From the moment he entered the N.F.L. he didn't comport himself to fit society's narrow definitions of black masculinity. He wasn't cool or hip or brash, nor did he try to be. Everything about Wilson — the generic way he spoke and dressed, the people he surrounded himself with, his eager zeal to never offend — seemed to differentiate him from his teammates in a sport that is all about the collective. Not everyone greeted that story with open arms. Rumors swirled that there were teammates who considered him not quite "black enough" to gain respect. Seattle is now one of the youngest teams in football. The vibe toward Wilson is one of awe. "With No. 3 in charge, we are never out of any game," said offensive lineman George Fant, who in 2012 was a sophomore at Western Kentucky University when Wilson became a rookie starter for the Seahawks. "He works magic."