Bioethics Blogs

Russell Wilson’s Recovery Water: Miracle Cure or Magical Thinking?

Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks takes the field against the San Francisco 49ers prior to their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on October 22, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Russell Wilson took a hard hit to the head in the NFC Championship game last year against the Green Bay Packers. His team, the Seattle Seahawks, won the game, but would Wilson, the team’s star quarterback, recover in time for the next game? That game, by the way, goes by the name The Super Bowl.

“The next day I was fine,” Wilson told Rolling Stone. “It was the water.”

Wilson was referring to a product called Reliant Recovery Water, a pseudoscientific concoction of “nano bubbles and electrolytes” that Wilson is convinced helps heal athletic injury. “I know it works,” he enthused to Rolling Stone. “Soon you’ll be able to order it straight from Amazon.”

If enough people buy the water, Wilson will become even richer than he already is, because he is an investor in the company. Some of you might think that Wilson is a quack, deceiving us for his own personal gain. But I expect that Wilson sincerely believes in the benefits of recovery water. Nevertheless as a wealthy and famous celebrity, he should either divest from the company or stop spouting off about the wonders of this bogus product. With fame comes responsibility, and Wilson’s endorsement is irresponsible and risks harming the people unlucky enough to believe his claims.

To understand how I’ve come to this conclusion, bear with me while I lay out some important distinctions.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.