Seahawks veteran K.J. Wright named male Seattle Sports Star of the Year

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)
In this Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, file photo, Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright plays a snap in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in Seattle. Once he became established in the NFL, Wright regularly said his goal was to make it 10 seasons in the league and then evaluate his next steps.

SEATTLE, Wash. — Linebacker K.J. Wright has spent his entire 10-year NFL career playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Though he isn’t necessarily the focal point of the Seahawks’ defensive gameplan, Wright has been an outstanding citizen and upholds the foundational values of the organization. For that, the well-respected Seahawks staple was honored at the 86th annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards.

Founded by historic Seattle sportswriter Royal Brougham and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1936, the award etches outstanding athletes into Washington sports history.

During the 2020-21 NFL season, Wright used his platform to discuss issues far beyond football. On multiple occasions, he brought the issues of police accountability, systemic racism and building a bridge between the police officers and the communities that they are meant to protect.

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Wright made the following statement regarding the award:

“This award, it’s truly an honor,” Wright said. “It’s an award the fans voted for—I’ve always tried to be a staple in the community, on and off the field, and to be recognized with this award is amazing. I’ve always watched the show—I’ve never been—but I’ve always watched it and seen some of my teammates be a part of it, and I thought it’d be cool to be part of it someday. So I’m really excited.”

Wright is the first Seattle Seahawks player to receive the award since his fellow linebacker, Bobby Wagner received the award in 2016. Before him, three other Seahawks received the award consecutively: Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and Michael Bennett. He was drafted in the fourth round, 99th overall, of the 2011 NFL Draft.

During the season, Wright displayed selflessness and dedication to his team by shifting over to the strongside linebacker position early in the season. He played in all 16 regular-season games for the Seahawks and put together one of the best years of his career. According to, Wright was the only player in the NFL with double-digit passes defended (10) and tackles for loss (11). He finished with 86 tackles, three quarterback hits and two fumbles recovered.

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A free agent, Wright’s future with the team is yet to be determined. However, if history is any Indicator, Wright should be back with the Seahawks once again next season.

Other award recipients at the Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards are as follows:

  • Female Sports Star of the Year: McKenzi Williams, Guard, Seattle University Basketball
  • Paul G. Allen Humanitarian Award: Jamal Crawford, 20-year NBA veteran/ Rainier Beach High School alum
  • Royal Brougham Sports Legend award: Lou Piniella, former Seattle Mariners manager
  • Keith Jackson Media excellence award: Dean Rutz, Photographer, Seattle Times
  • Wayne Gittinger Inspirational Youth Award: Matthew Esselsrom, Lacrosse Player
  • Equity and Inclusion in Sports Award: Equity and Inclusion in Sports Award


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