Russell Wilson is struggling as a quarterback, however he’s completely rolling in relation to scamming donors to his charity. A ranging report from USA Right this moment printed on Wednesday outlined that Wilson’s “Why Not You? Basis” had solely donated roughly 40 p.c of its earnings to charity, with the remaining going to fundraising and worker salaries.
In whole Russ’ basis obtained $7.5M in income in via 2021, however solely reported $2.8M being handed on to any charitable actions. Within the bills of the muse features a six-figure wage for a private good friend of Russell and Ciara Wilson, who’s an worker of the muse — however digging deeper goes additional than that.
The web site for “Why Not You?” doesn’t record any workers or a CEO, however does present its board of administrators. It is a veritable who’s-who of nepotism. Not a single member of the charity’s board has a non-profit background, however somewhat all of them share private connections to Russ and Ciara. The full record contains:
- Russell Wilson
- Ciara Wilson
- Sheryl Willert (Russ’ long-time private lawyer)
- Larry Estrada, VP at Goldman Sachs (private good friend of Russ)
- Mark Rodgers (Russ’ agent and shut good friend)
- Harry Wilson (Russ’ brother)
- Jessica Abramson Lott (Russ’ PR supervisor)
- Charly Martin (former Seahawks receiver who performed with Russ)
- Scott Pickett (Russ’ shut good friend)
It’s not unusual for movie star charities to have board members with private ties to the founders, however it’s atypical to not have anybody operating the present with a standard charity background. Moreover, Wilson’s charity raises particular questions as a result of it was used as a key motive Wilson received the Walter Payton Man of the Yr Award in 2020, with Roger Goodell saying:
“Russell Wilson has at all times prioritized serving his group, however this 12 months, he met the problem and extra when it was wanted most,” mentioned NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “He has proven continued excellence on the sphere for 9 seasons, however the work he has achieved to assist youth and combat meals insecurity via his Why Not You Basis bolsters his lasting legacy. Russell is extraordinarily deserving of this award and I do know he’ll use this as an extra springboard to proceed to positively impression others.”
Primarily the idea of profitable Russ the award, and the justification by the NFL was the work Wilson did along with his charity — which we now know went extra in the direction of benefitting his household and associates than the needy youngsters it purports to assist.
“Whereas the muse raises funds and supplies grants and items, our partnerships have allowed for extra direct supply and impression. Our dynamic partnerships enable for Russell and Ciara to offer their time, ardour, and concepts and lift consciousness for causes in intimate and hands-on settings and occasions.”
So mainly, they didn’t refute something within the report, however tried to counsel that as a result of Russ and Ciara flip up at occasions for different charities, that’s the place their true impression is. Cool.
Sometimes this wouldn’t be a difficulty the NFL ought to wade into, however between Brett Favre utilizing his soccer fame to allegedly embezzle welfare funds from Mississippi, and the league basically legitimizing Wilson’s dicey charity by awarding him Walter Payton Man of the Yr, it raises severe questions on how a lot the league is doing to vet the charitable work gamers are doing, or whether or not they’re merely taking all the pieces at face worth.
Wilson must reply for why his charity, which has introduced in thousands and thousands, has not given extra to the folks it claims to be serving to. It is a travesty.