Seahawks' Doug Baldwin: Death threats won't silence me

BySheil Kapadia ESPN logo
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said during an interview with "60 Minutes Sports'' that he has received death threats since demanding that attorneys general in all 50 states review their training policies for police officers.

"I had a few," Baldwin said, according to a transcript of the interview that was released Friday. "A couple of people told me to watch my back."

Baldwin, whose father is a police officer, said during the interview that the threats will not stop him from speaking up.

"If something was to happen to me, I think that would just further prove my point that there are issues in our culture, in our society that need to be changed," he said

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick revealed recently that he has received death threats in response to his decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial oppression in the U.S.

On Sept. 23, Baldwin called for a change in law enforcement "to eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management measures."

"Now this is not an indictment of our law enforcement agencies," Baldwin said. "I just want that to be clear. We know that there's a select few -- a very minute few -- of law enforcement who are not abiding by those laws and policies.

"However, we also know that there are laws and policies that are in place that are not correcting the issue that we have in our society right now."

Baldwin has spearheaded the Seahawks' "Building Bridges Task Force," which is composed of players who are meeting with local law enforcement officials and politicians to promote social change.

Baldwin said he has had extensive talks with Kaepernick in the past couple of months. They chatted before and after the 49ers-Seahawks game last week.

Baldwin was asked whether he'd be taking a stand had it not been for what Kaepernick initially did.

"Not at all," Baldwin said. "The reason you're asking me this question is because Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, and regardless of what people want to say about it disrespecting the military or the country or whatever it may be, he shed light on an issue that needed to be revealed.

"So now we're having this conversation. I'm fortunate enough and glad that he did that. He took the leadership role, stepped up, took the hits, and now we're able to move forward with this conversation."

The "60 Minutes Sports" interview is scheduled to air Tuesday on Showtime.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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