Share this story...
Latest News

Wassell: Doug Baldwin’s voice is one worth listening to right now

Tom Wassell found himself impressed with Doug Baldwin after interviewing him Wednesday. (AP)

I hope someday when I look back on this decade, I remember it as a time that led to positive change and not just a period of ugliness.

Salk: How the NFL got its new anthem policy right and wrong

That’s what we are right now in America – ugly. There are simply too many voices. Too much screaming, too much fighting, too great an inability to listen, too shallow an understanding of the issues. All of which result in a big fat zero for us as a people.

So how do we know who to trust? Hopefully your answer isn’t “I trust the people who serve my needs.” Be honest.

I’m offering Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver. Over the last few years, he’s gone from being “Angry Doug Baldwin” to “Reasonable Doug Baldwin.” He’s one of very few athletes (or people in general) that seems well-equipped to communicate a concern, listen to the response, and then formulate a solution.

After we interviewed Doug Wednesday on Bob, Groz and Tom (which is really worth listening to), I drove home and thought hard about why I was so impressed with him. I decided to compile a list of what he is and what he is not.

Is:

Empathetic
Pursuant of peace
Educated/knowledgeable
Progressive-minded
Humble
Articulate
Fair
Example-setting

Is not:

Self-glorifying
Pursuant of power
Vindictive
Inconsistent
Mean-spirited (except Thursday’s “idiot” comment directed at the President)
Finger-pointing
Manipulating
Distorting of the facts
Single-minded

Sadly, most of the concepts that appear on the “Is not” list are things that we reward. Whoever screams the loudest, hurls the best insult, or manipulates the facts most effectively wins. I haven’t seen any of that out of Doug, and I certainly didn’t hear it on Wednesday during our interview when he answered our questions about the NFL’s policy on protesting during the national anthem.

As he was speaking, he had this look of sincerity on his face that I don’t usually see in athletes. It was obvious to us that he really wanted us to understand what he was saying. And without knowing where Bob, Groz and I stand politically, he wasn’t hostile, condescending, or standoffish about any of it. I appreciated that, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that his message was received.

You many listen to the interview and disagree. Perhaps not being in the room with him changes the way you understood what he was saying. We all ingest the world through different filters.

I’m interested to know what you think, though. Is Doug someone who you see as a uniter? A divider? Neither? Comments are welcome.

Doug Baldwin eagner to see rookies’ energy with Seahawks