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Russell Wilson doesn’t have to ask for privacy twice

RENTON – The most important question at Russell Wilson’s press conference Monday was the one that wasn’t asked.

That’s a compliment and not a criticism because as Wilson stood in front of half a dozen television cameras and about 20 reporters, no one brought up his pending divorce.

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Russell Wilson met with the local media Monday for the first time since announcing that he’s filing for divorce. (AP)

Score one for common decency, a decision that wasn’t based on newsworthiness so much as the courtesy of respecting Wilson’s request for privacy.

See, privacy is a concept that seems to be evaporating entirely beneath the scrutiny of today’s media coverage. This is the tradeoff for star athletes, the counterbalance to their rising salaries. Athletes make more money today than ever before, but they are also not just asked but expected to respond to all manner of issues – whether personal, political or social – that have very little, if anything, to do with their performance on the field.

Wilson’s divorce is news, there’s no doubt about that. But he also made it clear in his announcement back in April that he did not want to answer questions about it.

Will that request be respected? On Monday it was, Wilson being asked about everything from his diet – he’s trying to eat healthier – to his hair, which was shorn close for the team’s visit to the White House two weeks ago. He talked about maintaining the team’s focus, last season’s Super Bowl whetting the Seahawks’ appetite for success rather than satiating it.

Wilson is in the kind of position he always dreamed about, always prepared for, but personally this can’t be anything he expected after marrying Ashton, his high-school girlfriend.

Just finding the right words or tone to talk about Wilson’s personal reality is difficult. You shouldn’t make it seem too solemn or tragic given today’s reality that this is how so many marriages end. To characterize it as commonplace doesn’t seem right, either. It’s a decision that is undeniably personal and often difficult and required some serious soul searching and work on both sides.

As a person, I have to admit I am curious about the reason Wilson’s marriage is ending. As a professional, I don’t believe it’s my job to try and root out the answer from someone who has requested that the subject be left alone.

This is one of those cases where the question truly didn’t need to be asked. And on Monday, it wasn’t.