Russell Wilson is opening up about how he felt after meeting Ciara’s eldest son, Future Zahir, for the first time.

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On the latest episode of the I AM ATHLETE podcast, Wilson spoke about his relationship with Ciara and when he knew he was ready to be a father. According to the NFL star, it was the very moment he first met his stepson, Future, who was less than a year old at the time.

The Denver Broncos quarterback revealed that he wrote out his “five non-negotiables” before meeting the “Body Party” singer, which included finding not only a woman of faith but someone “that was going to love me the way my mom loved my dad on his deathbed when he was at his lowest.”

Just three days after writing those prayers on a napkin, he met Ciara and a then 9-month-old Future. Wilson recalls the little one crawling on his lap and thinking, “This is going to be my responsibility.”

Later that night, Russell says he went home and prayed, asking God, “Are you sure this is what you want me to do?” And, according to Wilson, God responded, “Son, this is for you.”

While most men might find the prospect of becoming a stepfather scary, the baller instead thought of it as an opportunity.

“Okay God, this is what you want me to do?’” he recalled thinking. “Stepping in to raise a child with [Ciara] and realizing that, ‘Okay God, I know she’s the one for me.’ But also too, I’m gonna take this responsibility as well.”



Russell’s words come after Future Zahir’s biological dad, rapper Future, took issue in 2015 with photos of the NFL player pushing his son in a stroller.

“Of course I don’t want nobody pushing my son, that’s the number one rule,” said the artist on The Breakfast Club at the time. “If I was a kid and my mama had somebody push me [in the stroller], I would’ve jumped out and slapped the s*** outta him. You don’t do that in our community. Who does that?!

“He probably didn’t know, she set him up,” he added. “You got nannies, you got assistants, you know what it is. At the end of the day, I’m not for the publicity stunts. Leave my son out of the publicity stunts. Just leave him out of your relationship.”


Russell Wilson and Ciara met for the first time in March 2015 at a Wisconsin basketball game. The couple got married a little over a year later in July 2016 and now share three children: daughter Sienna, 6, son Win, 3, and baby daughter Amora, who arrived in December 2023.

As for how his approach differs in raising his biological children and Future? Wilson insists, “There’s no difference.”

“When you’re raising children … you’ve got to love every single child as if they’re yours,” he said. “God gave me that opportunity to raise them and to love them and to care for them … And there’s no difference.”


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