*ORLANDO — *Hours after Thursday’s Pro Bowl practice concluded at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin shifted his efforts from the football field to the community.
In Orlando, the two-time Pro Bowler Baldwin took part in a panel discussion and aided in a private movie screening of the film Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. is the Answer, a film by A.J. Ali and Errol Webber that focuses on racial profiling and the struggles it creates for minority communities.
The two-hour solutions-focused documentary featured roughly 30 interviews with numerous people from communities around the country, including current and retired police officers, social workers, community leaders, psychologists and more. The film aims to bridge the gap between police and community relations.
The documentary screening took place courtesy of The Players’ Coalition, a group committed to creating change in society related to issues of social justice. The group was founded in 2017 by Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin to focus on eliminating racial prejudice and discrimination.
Following the viewing, Baldwin was joined by Ali, Randolph Bracy (Democratic member of The Florida Senate), Desmond Meade (Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration), Scott Sundby (Professor at University of Miami School of Law) and Linda Webb (co-founder of RITE Academy) on stage and answered questions from former NFL players and more.
“The typical question I get is ‘why do you care so much?’” Baldwin said on stage. “‘Why do you get involved?’ ‘What motivated you?’ ‘What inspired you to have these conversations to put yourself out there?’ My answer to people who ask me that is ‘why not?’
“My wife has taught me one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever learned in my life and that’s forgiveness. The truth of the matter is, if we want to solve this, we can’t sit up here and say these solutions are 100 percent because they’re not. You’re dealing with human beings. The only person that you can control is yourself and what I’ve learned and what I’ve been taught over my short 29 years on this earth is that the greatest impact that I can have as a human being, is when they do me wrong, that I forgive them.”
Baldwin’s participation Thursday is a continuation of the work he has done in the community over the past year to make change. This past season, Baldwin was one of the players behind the team’s 'Seahawks Players Equality & Justice For All Action Fund,' which awards grants to non-profit organizations. He also co-wrote a letter with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in October to the Senate Judiciary Committee calling for criminal justice reform.
Photos from the second day of NFC practice at the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida.