RENTON, Wash. -- After his 209-yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers back in Week 11, Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls was asked where he developed his physical style and tough mindset.
"I am from Flint, Michigan, where you’ve got to be tough," Rawls said. "You’ve got to be a whole different breed. You’ve got to be different. You’ve got to be uncommon. So I think that’s a lot of where my makeup is."
Rawls is in Seattle, recovering from a season-ending ankle injury he suffered in Week 14. But with the Seahawks' season officially over, the water crisis in his hometown is very much on Rawls' mind.
He still has plenty of family and friends back home, and he vowed to go to Flint and help in the weeks ahead.
"That’s where I grew up at," Rawls said. "So to know that the water is bad and to know that there’s not a lot being done back in Flint, Michigan, is kind of upsetting. It’s kind of emotional just to know my family and friends and stuff there.
"One thing that I can control is do what I can do as far as on my end, and that’s going back home, donating, having something around for the city as far as people having free water, stuff like that. Because it’s kind of hard when you can’t even shower in your own shower, when you can’t drink your own water. It’s kind of upsetting to know that I’ve got nieces and nephews, and [their] skin’s breaking out. I’ve got friends, they have kids. It’s already hard in the city just because. But just to add that on your plate, it’s kind of tough.
"One thing I can tell you about the people in Flint is they’re tough, and they are built for it. And that’s one thing that I just want to display and show my gratitude through them, go back home and do a lot for the city."
Rawls is finalizing his plans, but he said high on his priority list in the coming weeks is to get back to Flint and do anything he can to provide assistance.
"I can’t wait to go back home and help out," Rawls said. "I may even try to dig a well and try to connect it to another city or something. I want to be Superman to my city. I love my city. I don’t want to get emotional about it, but I will go home."