In addition to thinking about this week’s opponent, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was also focused on Tuesday night’s election, which included an initiative Baldwin has been backing for nearly a year.
Baldwin, who two years ago went to Olympia to speak to a Use of Deadly Force task force, announced last year that he was publicly and financially supporting Initiative 940, a bill that aims to “save lives and prevent tragedies by providing all law enforcement officers in Washington with better de-escalation, first aid, and mental health crisis training.”
And as of Tuesday afternoon, roughly 60 percent of ballots contained yes votes on 940, all but assuring that it will pass once results become official.
“I’m ecstatic that it looks like 60 percent of the population that voted agreed that there were some changes that needed to be made to our laws, so I’m very encouraged by that,” said Baldwin, who made another trip to Olympia earlier this year to speak to lawmakers about the bill.
“It’s extremely encouraging and not just myself, but the people who were behind the Initiative from the beginning, who took the time to research the laws and to write this Initiative,” Baldwin continued. “It’s a very emotional process and I think that a lot of people who were involved with it were emotionally attached because they had some type of personal connection. Again, being able to see that almost over 60 percent of people agreed with it and were able to in some way, in some capacity be empathic to what the initiative was really speaking towards, I thought that was really encouraging. For a bigger picture, just having the conversations with people on both sides of the aisle, per say, was really fascinating to have those conversations and to see the minds open up and the ears open up and the eyes open up and the perspectives change.”
Despite this victory, Baldwin has no intentions on sticking to sports going forward, not when he knows he can use his platform to help make a difference.
“It is a beginning,” said Baldwin, whose father spent more than 30 years in law enforcement with the Pensacola Police Department. “I think that personally, just being involved in a more hands-on way in terms of laws and legislation that impact our everyday lives and really getting invested in what it means to vote and use your voice in a platform to effectuate change in a positive way, it’s hard to go back, especially when it takes so much time and research and to be empathic to opposing viewpoints and see that there’s opportunities to bring people together, to build bridges and to actually have conversation about things that impact our everyday lives and changing them for the better, not only for ourselves in the immediate future but also further down the line for our children and our great-grandchildren.”
And if Baldwin’s actions and words make him sound like a future politician, well, he isn’t ruling that out, though a political career definitely is not in his short-term future.
“I have (considered politics), honestly,” Baldwin said. “If I do, it won’t be for at least another 15 years. Personally, my main focus and main goal right now is to build my family and to be there for them as much as I possibly can so future children—that are hopefully soon on the way—and being the best father that I can for them, so my priority is just like I attack anything else: researching, reading, learning as much as I can from people who have gone through the process and being the best husband and best father than I can be. If time comes and I have time to pursue other interests, then I will. I think that that time will also give me an opportunity to go back to school to learn things that I don’t have the expertise on and broaden my horizons in that way.”
Photos from the Seahawks' Wednesday practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Sunday's game against the Rams.