The COVID-19 crisis has struck close to home for a few current and former prominent Seahawks as Buddy Baker — the agent for Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin and Doug Baldwin — announced Tuesday that his parents have died of the virus.
Baker made the announcement via Twitter, saying he hoped to bring increased awareness to the potentially devastating impact of the virus and the importance of taking steps to stop its spread.
Baker, the president and CEO of Exclusive Sports Group, LLC, based out of Indianapolis, said his parents had been married 51 years and died of complications from the virus on Sunday.
“They passed away six minutes apart,” he said in a video accompanying his tweet. “Just a few weeks ago they were in perfect health.”
Baker said he hoped going public with the news would make people aware that anyone is susceptible to catching or being affected by the virus.
“I’m not sure everyone really understands the importance of it,” Baker said, referring to government recommendations on how to stop the spread of the virus. “Hopefully this can be a catalyst for some change (to) practice social distancing, wash your hands as regularly as you can and importantly, stay at home. … this is an opportunity which was very bad and tragic to my family to prevent someone else’s.”
A 2019 story in the Indianapolis Star detailed the relationship between Baldwin and Baker, and how Baker once helped Baldwin find a doctor for his brother following a car accident.
“It was special for him to not only put me first, but also my family, my extended family,” Baldwin told the Indy Star. “A lot of people in this business, they only do things when they can get things from you, when it benefits them. He’s always done things that don’t necessarily benefit him, but make my world a lot easier.”
Baldwin also tweeted Baker’s video, stating, “He has an important message for all of us.”