A few days ago, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was hoping he wouldn’t be in a position anytime soon to be asked a question about the national anthem and a statement by president Donald Trump that would result in a headline-making comment.
Baldwin, like many of his NFL-playing counterparts, thought the issue of anthem protests was receding.
He was ready, in other words, to stick to football for a while.
But then the NFL announced a new policy on Wednesday requiring all players to stand for the anthem and act in a respectful manner if they are on the field, essentially mandating that any protests happen behind closed doors, with teams potentially being fined if players didn’t comply.
That was followed Thursday by a comment from Trump in an interview on Fox News that “maybe you shouldn’t be in the country” if you don’t stand for the anthem.
And that led to Baldwin being asked about Trump’s comment following the team’s Organized Team Activity workout.
“He’s an idiot, plain and simple,’’ Baldwin responded. “I mean, listen, I respect the man because he’s a human being, first and foremost. But he’s just being more divisive, which is not surprising. It is what it is. But for him to say that anybody who doesn’t follow his viewpoints or his constituent’s viewpoints should be kicked out of the country is not very empathetic. It’s not very American-like, actually to me.It’s not very patriotic. It’s not what this country was founded upon so it’s kind of ironic to me that the President of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.”
But that was hardly all Baldwin — who now is one of the team’s most senior members having entered the NFL in 2011 and has long been one of its most active players in the community — had to say.