Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday penned a letter supporting the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.
Seattle Seahawks players and coaches have talked in the last few months of not only making statements on social actions but also taking actions.
Tuesday, receiver Doug Baldwin made one penning along with NFL commissioner Roger Goddell a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsing the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017.
The bill was introduced on Oct. 4 and among other things would attempt to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes and also, according to ATR.org, “replicate the success of several red states by re-balancing old mandatory minimum sentences and re-focusing savings on prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation to keep non-violent criminals from committing more crimes.”
The letter by Baldwin and Goodell stated in part:
“The bottom line is, we all want to make our communities better. As Doug stated in a recent memo to owners, ‘this is about ‘doing the right thing for the right reasons…love and empathy are more important attributes than a forty time or route-running ability…yearning for justice and equality is something that all humankind can understand.
The Sentencing and Reform Corrections Act would address many of the issues on which our players have worked to raise awareness of over the last two seasons. This bill seeks to improve public safety, increase rehabilitation, and strengthen families. If enacted, it would be a positive next step in our collective efforts to move our nation forward.
Ultimately, we all share a responsibility to find a path towards unity, one that goes well beyond sports. The National Football League applauds the introduction of this bipartisan criminal justice reform bill as well as your ongoing commitment of upholding America’s promise of justice for all. We stand ready to work with you to advance this important legislation.”
Baldwin said he sought the NFL’s support in his effort.
“It was important that it wasn’t just coming from myself,” he said. “I think again, the important aspect of it is us having a unified effort. We don’t want to be divided anymore. We don’t want to continue the divisive rhetoric. We don’t want to engage with this divisive rhetoric. We want to start showing our players, the NFL itself, our NFL community that we can be collectively united to seek the changes that we want to see, which are beneficial to the entirety of society. I thought it was important that we didn’t do this as individuals, but that we did it as collective group.”
The letter also cited the league’s efforts at bringing awareness to social issues, stating: “Last season, as part of our My Cause My Cleats initiative, several players chose to highlight equality and justice on their cleats, while others chose causes related to supporting the difficult work of law enforcement. These expressions of player advocacy aptly capture the challenges we currently face as a nation — ensuring that every American has equal rights and equal protection under the law, while simultaneously ensuring that all law enforcement personnel have the proper resources, tools, and training and are treated with honor and respect.”
Last year Baldwin met with Seattle police and also had a phone conversation with Washington State attorney general Bob Ferguson as part of Baldwin’s efforts to attempt to improve training for police officers in the area of deescalation.
“I don’t understand how we’re not giving our law enforcement more tools, more training, more resources to go out there and protect themselves and protect the communities that they serve and then ultimately protecting their reputation,” he said last year. “I just don’t understand how that’s not a national effort to do that.”
Last month, Baldwin also was among the Seahawks who helped spearhead the team’s efforts at establishing an Equality & Justice for All Action Fund designed “to support education and leadership programs addressing equality and justice” and billed as “a tangible way for individuals or businesses to make a difference fighting injustice and inequality by supporting leadership and education programs.” Donations can be made at Seahawks.com/ActionFund.