Exceptional athletes compete for achievement rather than individual self-awards when it comes to performing on the field. Off the field, there are players who consider it an honor to be nominated for certain awards. Those awards transcend numbers they are about giving back and making a difference. Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright was awarded the Male Sports Star of the Year Award at the 86th annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards.
AN AWARD FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Wright was presented the prestigious award by former teammate and former award winner Bobby Wagner.
Since his rival to the Seahawks ten years ago Wright has set the standard for being the consummate teammate on the field and a man inspired to make a difference in not only Seattle but the world. In 2018 Wright visited the Masai Mara region of Kenya. After witnessing the region’s lack of water Wright spearheaded a fundraising campaign with Healing Hands International to build two water wells in the region. In 2019 Wright returned with family and friends to the region and celebrated the building of the first well.
“Ever since I was younger, my mom told me that ‘Son, you are blessed and highly favored, so whenever you are blessed, it’s very important that you bless others’,” Wright shared at the time. “This is the best thing I’ve done in my lifetime.” Wright raised more than $76,000 for the two water well.
Wright’s impact on the Seattle community continues to grow each year and acknowledgment of his commitment grows as well. K.J . was awarded the Seahawks Steve Largent Award for 2020. Wright was one of 32 players to be nominated for the seventh annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. In 2018 Wright was nominated for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Russell Wilson won the league-wide award this past season.
With football being a business first Wright is listed as a free agent for the upcoming season after having one of his best years. Wright started all 16 games recorded 86 tackles recovered two fumbles while forcing one and was the only player in the league in 202 with double-digit passes defended(10) and tackles for loss (11). Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has said the team would like to bring Wright back. Wright is also on record saying he feels he can play a few more years and is not willing to give a hometown discount though he also wants to return.
Also nominated for this year’s Mae Sports Star Award were the Jordan Morris ( Sounders FC), Kyle Lewis( Mariners) ,Kyle Manzardo ( WSU Baseball) , and Elija Molden ( UW Football)