BY Art Thiel 06:30AM 11/10/2016

Thiel: Baldwin laments that fear trumps reason

The rhetoric around president-elect Trump evokes some old feelings for Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin, a child of the South. He laments that fear has prevailed over reason.

The tumult around Donald Trump’s campaign brought back some bad feelings from Doug Baldwin’s upbringing in the South. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

A child of the South and the son of a cop, Doug Baldwin has a rare perspective about the presidential election that he was willing to share Wednesday in the Seahawks locker room, which was operating like a lot of workplaces the day after Donald Trump became president-elect — straining to be normal.

“A lot of the things we had seen in the past few months (in the campaigns) brought a lot of old emotions, old feelings, growing up the South and being in a more conservative area,” he said. “It resonated pretty painfully that that’s what our country wanted. To move in that direction is disheartening to some degree.”

You mean, backward?


Baldwin sat at his locker in front of several reporters talking quietly, without emotion or histrionics. He was working his way through what is one of the pivotal moments of American history: A reality-TV star with no previous record in government or military service who won the world’s most important job based almost entirely on a platform of fear.

“My personal opinion,” Baldwin said, “is as we’ve grown as a country, we’ve allowed our fears, doubts and questions about things we don’t know, to become more divisive (rather than) uniting us as a country. We’ve taken facts, knowledge and information, and the importance of that, and replaced it with just our beliefs of what we should fear. Or the beliefs of what our problems are.

“Those (fears) seem to resonate more than the voices, ears and eyes of people in our culture, more so than facts.”

As with many who didn’t vote for Trump, Baldwin could have ranted, taking the discussion many ways. But as man of reason and faith — hey, he’s a little guy who catches passes in no-man’s land over the middle; he’d better think ahead — he has a specific point.

Since the outcry over police shootings of unarmed African American men spawned silent protests by athletes before national anthems around the country, Baldwin has attempted to do something.

Boosted by support from state attorney general Bob Ferguson, Baldwin seeks to use his high profile to bring police and communities together to talk it through. As the son of a career police officer in Pensacola, FL., and an African American, Baldwin brings some cred to the task of bridging the gap.

The task, he said, was made harder by the acrimony and despair surrounding Trump’s views.

“At times, it’s been divisive because of the political conversation — what has been going on in the election,” he said. “Now it’s become more divisive. It’s discouraging, at some point. But the fight must continue.”

He takes some comfort from the majority political persuasion of Seattle and the state.

“I think for the most part Washington state has been progressive in that regard, in terms of changing the culture within the police dynamic in terms of performance and training,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll change that drastically, but I do expect more of a pushback (now) on the changes we’re seeking.”

Baldwin indicated he had inkling about the election upset from a recent TV show that interviewed Trump supporters. A person interviewed explained that Trump had a lot of “leaners.” Asked what that meant, the speaker said, “People who lean in and say, ‘You know, I don’t want to let anybody know, but I think I’m gonna vote for Trump.'”

Trump’s success has blown that cover. Baldwin thinks it might help a little.

“It’s an opportunity for us as individuals to educate ourselves more,” he said. “To join together more and have the difficult conversations. What I’ve been seeing and discussing with teammates, and people outside the locker room, is more of a divide in this country than we want to admit, in terms of race and all kinds of things. We’ve been trying to hide it for so long. This brings it to the forefront.

“If there’s a silver lining to me, it’s that this conversation about what progress truly looks like.”

Answering a question, Baldwin said he didn’t think the election would have an impact on the locker room.

“I honestly believe that the locker room, especially the football locker room, is a unique dynamic in the way we handle relationships and problems,” he said. “We’re really, really close. You can’t get away from it. You can’t run from it because you gotta come to work.

“When we have disagreements, or issues, we have to address it right away, because we can’t allow it to linger if it can impact our play.”

Baldwin had no particular forecast for how things will play out.

“This is the time for us to unite and educate ourselves, and get as far away from negativity as we can and start moving forward in a positive way,” he said. “What that looks like, I don’t know exactly yet, but the conversation is being had.”

Nor does anyone else have an idea about what’s next. Except that the Seahawks play the Patriots in Foxborough, MA., Sunday. There is relief in the small things.



  • ReebHerb

    Doug should on reflexion admit that Trump has two great successes already. He has rid us of the Bush and Clinton families. The player protest of our national anthem didn’t help his candidate. It is tough to get the leaners to support your candidate when you tell them how much they are despised. In the meantime, the only successful affirmative action program is being run on JBLM.

    • Pixdawg13

      Trump has also made it clear that “Make America HATE again” is going to be the way it is. Scared old white men. The kind of non-feeling, non-thinking behavior he typefies makes THIS older white man fearful. It also reminds me a lot of the early 1930s in a particular European country.

      • ReebHerb

        We’ve seen it all before. Yawn. 1968 Mexico Olympics. A lot of this stuff is so 60s. What European country are you talking about? Russia? How about that Stalin? He made Hitler look like a choir boy.

        • Diamond Mask

          Longing for the good old days of authoritarian government so you decided to vote for one hmm? Enjoy it.

          • 1coolguy

            I am already!

        • art thiel

          Protest goes back a little further. Jesus made himself a nuisance to the Romans. And they call them Protestants who shunned the Catholic church.

          And it doesn’t help your case for Trump to introduce genocidal national leaders.

      • 1coolguy

        Spoken like a true, ignorant, racist supporter of Clinton. Well, sit back and learn, as you will eat these words.

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    • Diamond Mask

      Doug should also opine about how Trump has made being a misogynist GREAT AGAIN. But I suppose women and blacks are in the same boat with Trump. Second class citizens.

      You should be very proud of him Mr. White man.

      • 1coolguy

        Wow – hate much, you racist POS.

    • Stephen Pitell

      There is no “protest of our national anthem” going on. I love our national anthem, with it’s high ideals, it’s the failures to live up to the ideals that has caused the protest.

  • MrPrimeMinister

    I don’t know this is a tough one. The Romans used bread and circuses to placate and brainwash a subjugated citizenry. Not sure I buy that forgetting societal problems by attending a football game for 4 hours on a Sunday afternoon, or a Saturday afternoon, or a Monday night, or a Thursday night, actually pushes the discussions forward or if they serve as a hindrance.

  • rosetta_stoned

    Just making it easier and easier to find other things to do with the time I used to spend watching the NFL.

    • tor5

      Honest question: Can you explain what you object to? As an African-American son of a cop, with a platform, Baldwin says he wants to promote constructive conversation. He has an opinion, but he doesn’t name-call or put anyone down. Why does this make you dislike the NFL? I don’t get it.

      • Diamond Mask

        Even when he’s happy he’s not happy. How pathetic is that?

    • art thiel

      So why did you read a story about an NFL player?

  • Kevin Lynch

    Well, there have to be two way conversations all over the board, all over the map, to counteract the fears and prejudices. How do we get that done, by the way? One thing is certain, multiculturalism IS the new America and that’s not going away. Equality and inclusion are the order of the day. This nation was founded on diversity of opinion, a multiplicity of races and creeds. That will never change. But a divided house will have a hard time standing, as Lincoln intimated. Say hey, wasn’t Lincoln a Republican?

  • 1coolguy

    As one who watched many of his rallies on line, it was amazing what Trump said at this rallies and what was reported. This exercise has taught me how corrupt the media is, as Trumps’ rallies were mostly about policy and when I read articles concerning people who have not attended his rallies, in person or online, the conclusion is they have gotten their information from the media only and therefore have no, zero idea who this man is nor his policies.
    The positive is he will exceed most expectations and will be a success. Prior to condemning a person, which the media was only too willing to do, I suggest those Clintonista’s invest time on LISTENING to Trump directly – they would learn something.

  • Stephen Pitell

    And the cancer keeps spreading…..

    Baldwin is wise for his age.