IN THE AIR OVER NORTH DAKOTA Flying to New York for Sunday’s 10 a.m. Seahawks-Jets game, and seeing this sad, despicable commentary on our society:
Doug Baldwin says he’s received death threats.
Asked by Jon Wertheim of Showtime television’s “60 Minutes Sports” if he received threats on his life since speaking out against police killings and the injustices of minorities in the United States, an issue San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has also pushed to widespread controversy and criticism, the Seahawks wide receiver said: “I did. I had a few.
“A couple people told me to ‘watch my back.’ How did I respond to that? The same way Colin did, you know? There’s issues going on in our society that people feel compelled to talk about. And, I mean, I’m not going to be quiet about it. And if something was to happen to me I think that would just fully prove the point that there are issues in our culture and our society that need to be changed.”
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Baldwin taped the interview recently inside the Seahawks’ indoor practice facility at the team’s headquarters in Renton.
The National Honor Society member growing up in the Florida panhandle, a Stanford graduate and son of a police officer, Baldwin has been a vocal leader among NFL players protesting race relations among the population and specifically police in our society. He’s also been taking with Kaepernick about it. Baldwin’s words and stories written on what he’s said have resulted in strong reactions, in support and sometimes abhorrent rebuke.
Two weeks ago Baldwin called on -- said he was “demanding” -- attorneys general from all 50 states to review their policing policies and training. Seattle’s No. 1 receiver said he and other Seahawks are also in the initial stages of meeting with the mayor of Seattle and sheriff’s deputies from across Washington.
“It’s been concerning,” Baldwin said of the issue on “60 Minutes Sports.”
As he did last week to local media member, Baldwin again said the message got lost in the controversy of Kaepernick sitting then kneeling during national anthems before games.
“The debate was not about racial injustice or things going on in our communities that pertain to law enforcement. It became about the national anthem and about disrespecting the military, which, as Colin has stated numerous times, it’s not about that. It’s about getting the message across,” Baldwin told “60 Minutes Sports.” “There are things in our communities going on that need to change.”
Asked by Werthim what those issues are, Baldwin said: “For me, they might be different than Colin’s. I am really focused on the training for law enforcement, because I think that’s where you can have the most impact -- directly. And as soon as possible.”
The entire Baldwin segment airs on Showtime Tuesday at 8 p.m. Pacific Time.