Russell Wilson certainly stirred up some strife during his commencement speech at Wisconsin.
In addition to some questionable “facts” he presented about his baseball career, he’s been accused of being a “me player” by one of his former NC State teammates, Kalani Heppe, who said getting rid of Wilson was “the one admirable thing” head coach Tom O’Brien did for the Wolfpack.
But wait a minute. Was Heppe actually a “former teammate” of Wilson’s, as has been so widely reported?
Well, not exactly.
One of Wilson’s actual former teammates, Terrell Manning, was quick to point that out on his Twitter account.
Who is @kalaniheppe. I dont remember him playing on OUR team. Some ppl dont like the truth @DangeRussWilson. Congrats great speech.
— Terrell Manning (@Certified_35) May 17, 2016
He also clearly makes the distinction that it was “OUR” team, defending Wilson from Heppe’s accusation all the more.
Heppe did play for NC State. Wilson was on that team, but he was red-shirting that season. Wilson didn’t even get to play at NC State until 2008, where he played for three years. Manning was Wilson’s teammate for two of those years, and he apparently isn’t willing to condone the “me player” narrative.
It’s a fact that Russell Wilson did stretch the truth about his baseball stats during his commencement speech. He also might have not been altogether truthful about some details concerning his conversations with O’Brien at NC State.
That said, stretching the truth (for, shall we say, dramatic effect?) isn’t anything most of us haven’t done at some point or another. Maybe Wilson should just ensure the next time he does it, he’s not doing it in front of thousands of people.