Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos in the 2022 offseason and it was viewed as a massive shake-up for the AFC West. In reality, the LA Chargers were the only other AFC West team to make the playoffs while Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett made fools of themselves.
Denver has made another splash, trading a first-round pick and future second-round pick for Sean Payton. While this is a bummer for some Chargers fans, Payton cannot solve all of the Broncos' problems and already has a disconnect with Wilson.
Wilson has become one of the easiest targets to dislike in the NFL, especially for Chargers fans. If him being the quarterback of a division rival was not enough, Chargers fans now have an even bigger reason to despise Wilson; and it all has to do with his "charitable" work.
If Chargers fans didn't despise Russell Wilson before, they will now.
To be clear, any charitable work is great as Wilson is helping people in need. This is by no means meant to downplay the people that have been helped by Wilson, even if a celebrity/athlete, at times, only has a charity for good PR/tax reasons.
But the fact that less than 25% of the donations to his charity actually go to charitable causes is disheartening. It is common practice for charities to take out some of the proceeds to pay for some overhead, but overhead that is over 75% of the total donations is a bit much.
According to the initial report, Wilson's foundation donated $257,000 on charitable activities in 2020 while spending $548,000 on employee salaries and benefits. This was the same year that Wilson won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Since 2021, they have spent $600,000 on charitable activities and $1.1 million in employee salaries.
In that $1.1 million is a $200,000 annual salary to an executive of the charity who "also worked for Ciara and Russell Wilson’s family office". Got it. It all makes sense now.
More than anything, this is disappointing to see out of one of the biggest stars of the sport. It is one thing to pay employees of a charity to do charitable work, it is another thing to use the charity to pay a massive salary when Wilson and Ciara have more than enough money themselves to pay that salary out of pocket.
If you ever thought about donating to Russell Wilson's charity, I would instead recommend a donation to the Chargers Impact Fund, whose goal is to help at-need families in the Southern California area.