‘I See Why He Leveled Up for Ciara’: Russell Wilson’s First Wife Drops His Last Name In Surprise Return to Social Media as NFL Star Celebrates Eighth Anniversary With Ciara

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson and his superstar wife, Ciara, officially commemorated their eighth wedding anniversary with heartfelt social media posts that showcased their deep love for each other.

As one of pop culture’s most admired couples, fans believe the Wilsons embody the kind of romance that seems straight out of a novel. Both stunning and successful, they frequently share how God brought them together, and they appear to be loving parents to their children — Sienna, Win, Amora, and Cirara’s 10-year-old son with rapper Future, Future Zahir Wilburn.

Russell Wilson’s ex-wife (L) returns to social media years after divorce as he and current wife, Ciara celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary. (Photo: @richsaltestate/Instagram; @dangeruswilson/Instagram)

While reflecting on their anniversary, the pair celebrated their love with the intensity and passion that has made them goals for fans admiring glimpses of their relationship on social media.

On July 8, the Cincinnati native posted a collage of videos from over the years and captioned on his Instagram, “Celebrating 8 years of God’s love & grace over us @Ciara! Since we met, you’ve been my strength in every trial. My joy in every moment. My peace in every prayer. God blessed me with the most incredible gift in you! I am so grateful for our journey together.”

He concluded, “Here’s to a lifetime more. I love you Mrs. Wilson to Heaven & back!”

CiCi, while still on tour with Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and Timbaland, replied, “I love you so much, baby! I’m so grateful to be doing life with you!”

Another shout out from the tour came from the “Work It” Grammy winner.

One fan wrote, “God May this kind of love locate me and more,” while another said, “This man said ‘you’re the peace in my prayers’ and I was stuck…right there.”

A third comment, “The way he loves her melts my heart every time.”

Ciara also posted on her social media a tribute to her spouse. Like her husband, she posted a video collage of precious moments between the two, adding, “I love walking with you, talking with you, being in your arms, and doing everything with you! I’m the happiest girl because of how you love me! I’m so grateful for our love! 8 years! So proud of us! Yay! Happy Anniversary my love! @DangeRussWilson. I love you so much!”

“He literally inhales you!” someone else told the star. “You can see how deep it is! That’s love.”

Then there were dozens who simply said, “We all need Ciara’s prayer,” and along the same lines life coach AJ Johnson punctuated everyone’s thoughts by saying, “When God says yes.”

According to both Ciara and Wilson, who were in two highly publicized relationships before getting together, their past relationships were not in divine order.

The football player was once married to a woman named Ashton Meem, who fans consistently mock for a ludicrous meme of her celebration of Wilson being drafted to the NFL. They married in 2012 a few months before the NFL draft that year.

The former pair were in a long distance relationship until Meem joined Wilson at North Carolina State University.

In response to a critic who asked why D-1 athletes date and or marry white women, one X user wrote, “Well I guess you didn’t read what happened to Russell Wilson. I see why he leveled up for Ciara. Bye to his ex Ashton Meem.”

Wilson and Meem divorced in 2014 following two years of marriage and rumors that she’d slept with Wilson’s former teammate Golden Tate. However, Tate denied the rumors. Tate has since vehemently denied the accusations, calling them “unfounded” and “irresponsible.”

Fans were reminded of her infamous draft day meme, which resurfaced during the 2024 NFL draft in April. Meem has since changed her username on Instagram from 1ashtonwilson to richsaltestate. She had stopped posting in 2017 and returned this month.

Photos of her with Wilson are still posted on her page, with the addition of three new posts of jewelry in red, white and blue diamonds shared on July 5. However, she has turned the comments off of each post.

While no evidence of Meem cheating on Wilson has materialized for the public, that is not the same for Ciara’s ex and eldest son’s father. She and Future were engaged for less than a year.

Known for his philandering ways, the “Dirty Sprite” rapper has eight children by eight different women. While Ciara’s son with the Atlanta native was barely out of diapers, she prayed for a man to treat her well and come into her life.

“I prayed for a God-fearing man. I prayed for discernment. I prayed for wisdom, to really learn from the wisdom that I’ve gained from the experience that I’m going through,” she revealed to Angie Martinez in 2019.

“I prayed for a man that loved kids, because, obviously me having my son, if you’re gonna love me you’ve gotta love him. I prayed for a man that was worldly as well. Because I love to explore so someone that was gonna edify my world, that was important to me. I was ready to level up!”

Wilson was that answered prayer.

One person on social media said it best, “What one person won’t do, someone else will. Don’t block your blessings playing with a dead thing. Happy Anniversary.”

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