Seahawk Doug Baldwin says anonymous NFL owner threaten players who protest

While Colin Kaepernick might be the face of an NFL protest movement against institutional racism, and police brutality, former Stanford star Doug Baldwin is rapidly becoming the movement’s soul. Baldwin appears to be the touch stone for players around the league who are considering a protest.

Seahawk Doug Baldwin said players are scared to join the protest (AP photo)

Seahawk Doug Baldwin said players are scared to join the protest (AP photo)

The son of a 35-year police veteran, Baldwin did organize his Seahawks teammates to link arms between black and white team members during the National Anthem on opening day of this year’s NFL season. Talking recently with 49ers media before Seattle hosted San Francisco on Sept. 25, Baldwin said players around the league were planning a coordinated protest. But that hasn’t happened yet.

On HBO’s Any given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, Baldwin said that mass league-wide or team-wide protest has been halted by player fear.

“A number of guys have contacted me, they want to take a knee … and do it together to be a little bit more agitating to people who don’t want to hear the message,” Baldwin said. “It’s hard to get that message to everyone across the league, because they’re scared.”

Baldwin said two factors are suppressing a larger protest – the possibility of losing endorsement dollars and NFL owners who have apparently warned players against protesting.

Kaepernick’s former college teammate, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, lost two endorsements in one week after the now Denver Bronco joined Kaepernick in protesting the anthem. Broadband provider CenturyLink, which coincidentally is the naming rights sponsor for Baldwin home stadium in downtown Seattle, “politely terminated” their deal with Marshall.

The Air Force Federal Credit Union then followed suit, ending their relationship with Marshall.

Baldwin also said NFL owners are pressuring players to stand for the anthem.
“There are some owners out there who have taken a stand and told their players they can’t do certain things,” Baldwin said. “The one quote that I was informed of was, ‘You are going to stand on the white line with your hand on your heart and you are going to sing the national anthem because this is my stage.’”

Twitter: @klynch49

Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is in his 27th season covering the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers and Bay Area sports. He also is a guest radio host and pregame 49ers host on KNBR-AM San Francisco - the flagship station for the 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Stanford football and basketball. Working mainly for sfgate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle's web site, Lynch is expanding into sports' biggest questions and hottest debates such as - LBGTQ acceptance, athlete criminality, the ethics of performance-enhancing drugs, marijuana, locker room culture, sports and gender, sports and sex, sports and money, sports and race, sports and social change and many other issues. He has written editorials on LBGTQ resistance in sports for the Chronicle and has appeared on KQED radio, Comcast Sports Bay Area and ESPN's Outside the Lines to talk about a variety of sports topics. He completed a Master's in Sociology at San Jose State in 2015, which included a thesis on LBGtT Resistant Attitudes and Behaviors in Sports.

One Comment

  1. Sounds about right. Team owners definitely are connected to high up politicians and corporations who benefit from the current state of affairs.

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