SANTA CLARA –- Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin disputes the notion that his team and the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick were ever enemies at one point in time.
Now, it’s exceedingly clear that they are working for the same things.
Baldwin, in a conference call Wednesday with Bay Area reporters, said he has engaged in “extensive conversations” with Kaepernick recently. The Seahawks have joined Kaepernick’s movement against racial inequalities.
While Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid has taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem, the Seahawks have locked arms in unity to bring attention to the same issues.
“It’s more of a conversation about what the next step is, about what the follow-through will be and exchanging ideas of what we can do to help the situation,” Baldwin said of his conversations with Kaepernick.
Baldwin and Kaepernick share a mutual friend in former 49ers and Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. Baldwin said he has learned a lot about Kaepernick after playing on NFC West rivals since 2011.
“He’s a very intellectual human being,” said Baldwin, who attended Stanford. “He’s very intelligent, very thoughtful and very passionate, obviously. I didn’t know him as a person. I only knew him as a football player. But, obviously, getting to speak to him and getting to know him a little more, you can tell he has a lot of depth to him.”
Baldwin said Kaepernick deserves the credit for bringing the issue to light and opening the conversation.
“It’s not just the NFL landscape,” Baldwin said. “It’s across the country right now. Obviously, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it wasn’t for him bringing it to light. So he’s stood on the table and shouted and got everybody’s attention. And now we have to work on the follow-through collectively.”
Baldwin said there were never negative opinions inside the Seahawks locker room about Kaepernick. But, now, the sides have a clear understanding about what is important off the field.
“You guys (the media) painted that,” Baldwin said. “Nobody looked at anybody as an enemy, so to speak. This is just our job. It’s our occupation, so we had no ill will toward Kaepernick in any way. It hasn’t changed because it wasn’t negative in the first place.”