Who is Russell Wilson?  Steelers QB facing criticism after controversial sexist, anti-gay comments in speech

Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, are reacting to him being benched by the Denver Broncos.

After the NFL team lost a Christmas Eve game to the New England Patriots, head coach Sean Payton told reporters Wednesday that Wilson, 35, will not play in the Broncos’ two remaining regular season games. The team remains in contention to make the playoffs, though NFL.com’s odds currently give the 7-8 team just a 7% chance of reaching the postseason.

“God’s got me,” Wilson — who has been Denver’s starting quarterback since the team acquired him in 2022 — wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) Wednesday night, seemingly in response to his benching. “Looking forward to what’s next.”

Ciara, whom Wilson has been married to since 2016, “liked” Wilson’s post, indicating a show of support for her husband.

Related: Ciara and Russell Wilson’s 4 Kids: All About Future, Sienna, Win and Amora

As Wilson’s “likes” on his X profile show, he has been reacting to various social media posts from fans, analysts and former players showing him support after the team benched him. “Mad respect for how you have handled this entire situation,” former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III wrote to Wilson Wednesday in one X post that Wilson “liked.”

Griffin’s post continued, “When you were disrespected, you still showed respect. When you were threatened, you led your team to wins. When you were torn down, you kept building up your guys and never wavered. God’s got your back.”

Wilson signed a five-year contract extension with Denver several months after he joined the team in 2022 that is expected to begin next season, as ESPN reported at the time. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback’s contract carries a clause that would grant him $37 million if he does not pass a physical by March 2024, leaving some speculation that the Broncos’ personnel decision is driven by a desire to prevent Wilson from sustaining an injury in the remainder of the regular season, per ESPN.

“Most of you know we’ve made a change at quarterback and I understand all the speculation and everything that surrounds a move like that, and I can tell you… look, we’re desperately trying to win,” Payton told reporters Wednesday when he announced the quarterback change.

He added, “Sure, in our game today there are economics and all those other things, but the number one push behind this — and it’s a decision I’m making — is to get a spark offensively.”

Jarrett Stidham will start for the Broncos on Sunday when they play the Los Angeles Charges. Wilson, meanwhile, will be available as a backup, Payton announced.

The Broncos have won 11 games and lost 19 with Wilson as their starting quarterback over the last two seasons. Prior to joining Denver, Wilson played the first 10 seasons of his career for the Seattle Seahawks and won the 2014 Super Bowl with that team.

Wilson and Ciara share daughter Sienna Princess, 6, son Win Harrison, 3, and daughter Amora Princess, who the family welcomed this month. Ciara also shares Future Zahir, 9, with her ex-boyfriend, the rapper Future.

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