"It was rough," Baldwin said. "I held out hope for a long time, but unfortunately, it didn’t go the way that I thought it was going to go.
"I thought that a lot of the things that we had seen in the past few months brought up a lot of old emotions and old feelings. And in terms of growing up in the South [Florida] and being around a more conservative area, it resonated with me pretty painfully that that’s what our population wanted. That’s what the country wanted. To move in that direction, it’s disheartening."
Baldwin, the son of a police officer, has created a "Building Bridges" task force this year to use his platform to bring members of law enforcement closer to the communities that they serve.
He has called for attorneys general in all 50 states to review their police training policies. Baldwin has the support of Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson and has hosted police officers at the Seahawks' practice facility.
"As we’ve grown as a country, we’ve allowed our fears and our doubts and our questions about things that we don’t know to become more divisive than uniting us as a country, as a people," Baldwin said.
"And in doing so, we’ve taken facts and knowledge and information and the importance of that, and we’ve replaced it with just our beliefs and the beliefs of what we should fear or the beliefs of what our problems are. Those seem to resonate more with the voices or the ears and eyes of people in our culture and in our country more so than the facts. That to me is my belief, and that’s why it’s so disappointing."
On Twitter, Baldwin referred to a discussion the team had this past summer with sociologist and activist Harry Edwards.
Edwards told the players that the difference between a mob and a movement is the follow-through.
"It was in relation to everything, especially what I’m doing, the groundwork in terms of trying to bridge the gap between police officers and the community," Baldwin said. "At times, it’s been divisive because of the conversation, because of the political conversation that we’ve had in the context of what’s going on and what has been going on with the election, and now it’s become more divisive. And so it’s discouraging at some point, but the fight must continue.
"It’s an opportunity for us as individuals to educate ourselves more, to take the opportunity to join together more and to have the conversations, the difficult conversations. Because a lot of the times, what I’ve been seeing and what I’ve been discussing with my teammates and people outside this locker room is that there’s more of a divide in this country than we wanted to admit in terms of race, in terms of all kinds of things. We’ve been trying to hide it for so long, and I think this just brings it more to the forefront. So if there’s a silver lining in it to me, it’s that this conversation about what progress truly looks like is going to continue."