SEATTLE – Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin is making good on his promise to talk with police about the state of law enforcement.
A Seattle Police spokesperson confirms "a handful of officers across ranks" met with Baldwin Monday, "per our previous conversations with him." But that the department preferred to let Baldwin take the lead on publicizing it.
One of the officers who was present was Sergeant Adrian Diaz, the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award last month. Baldwin made the trip to Highlands Park and Neighborhood Center in Renton to give Diaz the award.
Seattle mayor Ed Murray's office said it was also scheduling a meeting with the wide receiver, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office says Baldwin and Ferguson have talked on the phone and that Ferguson hopes "to have the opportunity to sit down together soon."
Two weeks ago, Baldwin called on all 50 state attorneys general to review law enforcement training.
The wide receiver has strong family ties with police. Baldwin's father, Doug Baldwin Sr., is a retired police officer who served 35 years with the Pensacola Police Department. He is now running for Escambia County Sheriff as a Republican.
Seahawks players, coaches, and staff have been linking arms during the national anthem in response to recent police shootings and other social issues.
It comes following the movement started by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been taking a knee during the anthem.
The Seahawks’ receiver is spearheading the team's 'Building Bridges Task Force."
Baldwin told 60 Minutes Sports that he received death threats for speaking out about police issues. That interview is scheduled to air Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Showtime. Here are some excerpts from that interview.
On how Baldwin connected with Kaepernick
"We didn't really have a personal relationship prior to this," said Baldwin. "When he started to take a knee and speak out about the injustices and things that are going on in our communities, I felt compelled to reach out to him."
On death threats
"I had a few. A couple people told me to watch my back," said Baldwin. "There's issues going on in our society that people feel compelled to talk about and I'm not going to be quiet about it. And if something was to happen to me, I think that would just further prove the point there are issues in our culture and our society that need to be changed."
On whether his message is getting lost due to the protests during the anthem
"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 stated numerous times and as we've all stated numerous times, it's not about that. It's about getting the message across that things in our community are going on that need to change," said Baldwin.
On what's next for his mission
"I'm really focused on the training for law enforcement because I think that's where we can have the most impact directly and as soon as possible," said Baldwin.
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