Doug Baldwin, Roger Goodell write joint letter supporting sentencing reform

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Responding to players whose anthem protests shined a spotlight on criminal justice in America, the NFL has come out in support of sentencing reform.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin jointly signed a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017, which would reduce minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

“Over the last two seasons, one particular issue that has come to the forefront for our players and our teams is the issue of justice for all,” Goodell and Baldwin wrote. “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.”

The bill has not made it to the floor for a vote in Congress despite having bipartisan support. The NFL and its players are lending their voice to that support.

90 responses to “Doug Baldwin, Roger Goodell write joint letter supporting sentencing reform

  1. The NFL could start by eliminating their own death sentence for marijuana use. He is draconian to suspend a player for a year or even end their career because they get high.

  2. Should be none. If you aren’t committing any real crimes, I don’t care what you do on your own time as lonf as you aren’t infringing on anybody else’s rights and safety.

  3. Goodell is such a sneaky weasel. All of this is to curry favor with the NFLPA to get them to the table sooner rather later, as ratings continue to tumble.

    I can see right through his phony agenda a mile away.

  4. He’s actually following federal guidelines. the law is still the law, yes it needs be changed, but still needs to be obeyed until it is.

    citizenstrange says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:23 am
    The NFL could start by eliminating their own death sentence for marijuana use. He is draconian to suspend a player for a year or even end their career because they get high.

  5. This is beautiful to read. So many people have been incarcerated for extended periods of times due to petty crime. You see on this site people talking about, if you don’t commit crimes, everything in life will work out with you. If you’ve ever looked into the circumstances to why people do what they do, you’d have a different opinion. It’s rarely about infringing on other people’s rights, moreso social Darwinism. But that’s for another tangent, drug laws in this country need reforming.

  6. Problem is that drug use sometimes leads to other crimes. If you’re an addict and you don’t have the money to pay for your habits, you might start stealing. And sometimes to steal, you commit violence (robbery at gunpoint, for instance).

    So forgive me for not just turning a blind eye to drug use.

  7. They can platicate to each other all day long.

    Means nothing.

    They need to listen and respond to the FANS, so long NFL enjoy the downward spiral.

  8. “Never any mention about criminals curbing their crimes but lets go easy on them and make it easier for them to commit more. INSANE”

    Actually the mandatory minimums for non violent drug offenders have been proven to be the insanity. The Department Of Justice figured this out several years ago and was until Trump working to effect change in that respect. The war on drugs is a trillion dollar failure and draconian sentences do not change that.

  9. Using a Bureau of Justice Statistic study finding inmates released from state prisons have a five-year recidivism rate of 76.6%, the USSC study calculated comparable federal prisoners released have a 44.7% re-arrest rate after five years.

    So somewhere around 2/3 of people who are put in prison end up there again. Lets just keep letting them out early and then rearresting them again after they commit another crime.

  10. The NFL has become weak. Liberals love to say “non violent”. As if the idea that if you don’t shoot someone or assault them, then the crime you commit is no big deal. Some guy sells 100 bags of heroin to some junkies. Maybe a few OD or a few rob a convenience store to support their habit but hey the origin seller was “non violent”

  11. Bob says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:28 am
    Problem is that drug use sometimes leads to other crimes. If you’re an addict and you don’t have the money to pay for your habits, you might start stealing. And sometimes to steal, you commit violence (robbery at gunpoint, for instance).

    So forgive me for not just turning a blind eye to drug use.

    ————

    If you’re an addict, you shouldn’t be in jail anyway, you should be in rehab/ a mental health institute.

    I’ve also never met anyone who got high and said “I’m going to go rob a bank.” Because halfway through that thought, they’ve either forgotten what they were thinking or moved onto another stupid topic like “Which cereal is better, A or B”

  12. What the heck does that have to do with professional football? Just more unregistered lobbying by Big Marijuana. Now before every game I have to tell my kids that their role models should not be a bunch of potheads who kneel for the flag. Turns out it is easier to just not watch games at all. Great move NFL, I hope your firings go really well.

  13. The root cause of most of these problems is dirty money. Lobbyists line the halls of congress with suitcases full of money, and it’s completely legal. The prison guard’s union is just as bad as the tobacco lobby or the gun lobby. Politicians have their hands out. It’s bribery, but it’s legal. Campaign finance reform got shot down by a 5-4 supreme court decision. So it’s these 9 justices that determine a lot in our country, and none of them ever won an election. They’re appointed by the president. Be careful who you vote for. Your taxes support the prisons. Funny thing it’s usually the guys calling for lower taxes that support all this spending. Roger Goodell better have suitcases full of money. He’s no dummy. This is just a crock.

  14. Actually the mandatory minimums for non violent drug offenders have been proven to be the insanity. The Department Of Justice figured this out several years ago and was until Trump working to effect change in that respect. The war on drugs is a trillion dollar failure and draconian sentences do not change that.

    When will violent crime be a focus for NFL protests? Or is that too difficult because it involves actually doing something more than 1 day a week at places other than your job.

  15. The NFL needs to get out of the business of Politics, not get more involved. Like a previous poster said, the NFL has a worse suspension for smoking weed than it does for domestic abuse. This is such a phony politically correct initiative to take the stink off of the damage they’ve collectively done to the game this year.

    Besides, what’s a non-violent drug crime? Selling them? When you sell opiates you are effectively letting that customer kill themselves and ruin their family indirectly.

    Nobody cares about weed, and its now legal in many states, the rest of the stuff is illegal for a reason. So I don’t know how the NFL doesn’t come off as huge hypocrites here.

  16. reduce minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

    Selling to kids is non violent….how does your point seem now?

  17. @patriots123456 you do know if you choose to listen to the fans, you’re going to get more than one school of thought, right? You’re gonna here fans who are in support of Kap and those who aren’t. And honestly, those who support Kap, the good in this battle of good vs. evil, would show out in droves.

  18. I tend to believe that people should be able to take whatever drug(s) they want to as long as they’re not hurting anyone else. With that said, I’ve called the police on my own family members who were high and out of control on both prescription pills and illegal narcotics. I’d rather see them in jail than dead, personally. People on drugs are unpredictable and a significant danger to themselves and society.

    Most drug addicts need help, not jail. The problem is that it doesn’t matter if you want to help them – they need to want to get help. The second problem is that the intensive therapy that a lot of them need is often unavailable (too costly) for the average US family and not guaranteed to help.

    To ease the punishment on the drug users, you have to stiffen the penalties on drug dealers. From street dealers to doctor mills. Make drugs less available and make help more available. At some point, if a drug user is unwilling to accept help, then jail has to become the alternative.

    P.S. I’m not talking about marijuana which should be legalized today. I’m talking hard drugs.

  19. feckyerlife says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:26 am
    He’s actually following federal guidelines. the law is still the law, yes it needs be changed, but still needs to be obeyed until it is.

    citizenstrange says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:23 am
    The NFL could start by eliminating their own death sentence for marijuana use. He is draconian to suspend a player for a year or even end their career because they get high.

    “the law is the law”

    Josh Gordon’s suspension has lasted 4 times longer than that skinny white kid from Cali spent in jail for raping an unconscious coed behind a dumpster

  20. I’ve got a better idea. How about obeying the law? That nips the problem in the bud.

    Actually I’ve got another idea. How about sticking to football and not congressional bills?

  21. When will violent crime be a focus for NFL protests? Or is that too difficult because it involves actually doing something more than 1 day a week at places other than your job.

    Violent crimes result in harsh (and appropriate) jail time. Everyone universally agrees that violent criminals should be removed from society for varying lengths of time, depending on the crime.

    So to answer your question, things that are not controversial do not typically get protested. No one is out there protesting the fact that Subway footlongs are actually 11.4 inches.

  22. I’m sorry, but this is none of the NFL’s business. If the NFL wants to become a public advocacy organization, then they need to drop football and get into the other full-time.

    I know they are trying to dodge the anthem issue here, and I get that, but they are venturing into arenas for which they do not have the professional expertise on which to be making public statements. They have not included law enforcement officials or prosecutors into these meetings, and without the feedback of these professionals, they’re statements comes across as nothing more than a shallow attempt to side-step the anthem issue.

    Public advocacy which derides our nation or our law enforcement officials is bad for advertising and revenue. It is unbelievable that the league office (and the owners for that matter) have yet to figure this out.

    This only confirms the assertion made by many that Roger Goodell has been in over his head from day one.

  23. While I applaud this action I think Roger needs to walk the talk in his own back yard. Why are players getting suspended when criminal charges are dropped? The Ezekiel Elliot situation is a prime example.

  24. But this doesn’t work with privately owned prison systems who need to be at full capacity to make more money. This way the politicians can get their cut. The system is broken at the top. Writing a letter to the congress for this is like writing a letter to a car company that they should lower prices. They don’t care what is right. They are crooks and liars who steal and cheat and take away more of your freedoms. So what weed has medicinal purposes, it’s bad. Instead go to your Dr. and get an addictive opioid. Please let me know the last time we had marijuana overdosing epidemic.

  25. Love that somehow people are criticising this. So protesting by taking a knee is wrong. Going out to work in the community is wrong. Writing a letter to Congress is wrong. What exactly are the players allowed to do to support their communities?

  26. Well, with the number of kids no longer playing peewee football the league’s got to do something to have enough players

  27. It depends on what is considered non-violent. California passed two of these initiatives and violent crime has spiked dramatically.
    Might as well decriminalize all drugs and crack down on crimes involving actual victims.

  28. Love that somehow people are criticising this. So protesting by taking a knee is wrong. Going out to work in the community is wrong. Writing a letter to Congress is wrong. What exactly are the players allowed to do to support their communities?

    ——–

    Who EVER said working in the community was wrong? That would be nobody

  29. So why the NFL kills careers because guys smoke pot, they want the rest of society to allow crack and heroin dealers to run the streets sooner?

    Then they wonder why people can’t stand them?

  30. It’s outrageous that drug use is criminalized. It’s a health issue, a social issue, it’s not a crime. Legalize it, regulate it, provide robust treatment options, even go to great lengths to discourage it if you like. But don’t put people in jail for taking a drug. It serves no positive purpose whatsoever.

  31. Rogerroger, you instantly lose credibility when using a straw man argument. The people you are criticizing are asking why people who break the law shouldn’t go to jail or have reduced sentencing. As a previous person said, selling drugs to a 12 year old isn’t a violent offense. Selling a drug to someone who ends up commiting suicide or breaking the law while under the influence isn’t a violent offense either.

  32. Protesting social & political issues at work isn’t okay. This isn’t that hard. I am going to start voicing my personal opinions over certain social topics as a wrap up to my calls with clients. Let’s see how this goes, wish me luck.

  33. I’ve also never met anyone who got high and said “I’m going to go rob a bank.”
    —————–
    While that is true. People don’t rob banks when they ARE high. They do however commit crimes when they can’t afford to get high.

  34. Btw when you’re employer tells you that you cant say something, its not oppressing your voice or trampling on your first amendment rights. You can quit your job and say whatever you want. The first amendment doesn’t protect your right to free speech at work and I wish people would stop acting like it does. You can’t just make up stuff.

  35. Never any mention about criminals curbing their crimes but lets go easy on them and make it easier for them to commit more. INSANE
    ——
    it says “NON VIOLENT” A guy supplying himself and his friends with weed gets a longer prison sentence than a Wall Street criminal that effects millions of people by stealing millions of their dollars through fraudulent investments. Oh wait the Wall Street guy gets a bonus for that.

  36. You have to be an idiot to say don’t break the law, don’t go to jail. What kind of stupid logic is that? You do know there are people who haven’t broken laws that are also incarcerated, right? You do understand the reasons behind private prisons and mass incarceration, right? Instead of putting more money into education, which is behind several countries, we spend it on housing people for petty offenses. Please get a grip on reality.

  37. The reason that non-violent drug offenses carry a high punishment is that drug users are associated too many, many crimes that are too difficult to prosecute. Drug users are frequently associated to thefts, burglaries, Child neglect, child abuse, Sexual Assault, Assaults, and gun violence. Drug possession is easy to prosecute because its nearly undeniable. This man was arrested and he had drugs in his pocket. The End

    With those other types of crimes, it requires witness testimony, physical evidence and a jury trial. That’s makes it much more difficult to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Right, wrong or indifferent, drug offenses hold a high punishment because locking up drug users will ALWAYS reduce levels of other crimes. Upwards of 80% of all child protection cases in the United States right now involve parents who are drug users. Drug offenses are not a “victimless” crime.

    Just because Drug User A never assaulted someone, doesn’t mean his drug addiction is “non-violent”. The number of lives lost because of the drug trade is staggering. Shootings, murders, gang-warfare, and turf-wars are all related to the drug trade. Drug use, by nature, is violent because of the lives lost.

  38. Rodger is trying to do the right thing for the players after screwing them over constantly for the last few years. Unfortunately, this letter will ring hollow in DC. Congress is in a civil war and refuses to agree on anything. The Republicans in charge don’t care about this issue and won’t bother bringing up to vote. Sessions still believes the war on drugs can be won, so he’ll be no help. It’s a good start, but Goodell should focus on changing the draconian rules in his own sport first.

  39. rohinaz says:

    October 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Rogerroger, you instantly lose credibility when using a straw man argument. The people you are criticizing are asking why people who break the law shouldn’t go to jail or have reduced sentencing. As a previous person said, selling drugs to a 12 year old isn’t a violent offense. Selling a drug to someone who ends up commiting suicide or breaking the law while under the influence isn’t a violent offense either.

    ———————————————————————————-

    No, it isn’t a violent offense, but both are against the law. Maybe we should also be more lenient with Driving under the Influence by issuing a court appearance ticket and a $100 court surcharge. Then we could also give amnesty to those who dabble in say…stealing people’s identities since that is also non-violent. So where does this stop, or, are we just considering a particular percentage of people that fit your agenda?

    Politics and agendas don’t belong here. That’s what politics, debates, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and elections are for. Stop wasting our time.

  40. x101100111001111x says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:23 am
    The league will be no more. The countdown has started. This is an absolute joke. Next will be a joint letter on climate change. Sad

    ————–

    Because players are actually doing something positive and acting like concerned citizens instead of spoiled rich brats? Even if you disagree with their causes, it’s always good for people to care about the country instead of only caring where their next dollar is coming from.

  41. ace8842 says:
    October 17, 2017 at 11:32 am
    I support the measure but not support the NFL being involved in political purposes, period.

    ————

    In a world where corporations have a lot of power and a lot of protection there is a need for corporations to be responsible to the people and to the environment. If companies, who’s sole motivation is generally revenue for the shareholders, show more responsibility that’s a good thing.

  42. cmoney20 says:
    October 17, 2017 at 11:12 am
    Protesting social & political issues at work isn’t okay. This isn’t that hard. I am going to start voicing my personal opinions over certain social topics as a wrap up to my calls with clients. Let’s see how this goes, wish me luck.

    —————

    Corporations have to consider social impact and sometimes that crosses into the political world. Nobody wants corporations dumping chemicals in a river for example, which means there are environmental rules that society imposes on companies. However, at some point what should be done about the environment is a political issue. Google is heavily involved I’m politics in that sense as an example.

  43. The letter doesn’t support sentencing reform since it never actually brings it up. I mean seriously, ride alongs have nothing to do with sentencing reform. Its a PR letter for media to carry.

  44. Good for both. As the opioid crisis emerges, most wanna treat them, rather than lock’em up. A far cry from what they wanted during the crack crisis. So, bigots show your true colors. Don’t you wanna keep your peeps outta prison?

  45. citizenstrange says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:23 am
    The NFL could start by eliminating their own death sentence for marijuana use. He is draconian to suspend a player for a year or even end their career because they get high.
    ************************************************************************************************
    I like your comment but, replace NFL with United States

  46. Josh Gordon’s suspension has lasted 4 times longer than that skinny white kid from Cali spent in jail for raping an unconscious coed behind a dumpster.

    What? Was the skinny white kid a football player? Josh Gordon is suspended from the NFL and you’re comparing someone who raped a girl. False equivalence.

  47. The only time I like football is when they are on the field playing. Everything else associated with the NFL outside the lines diminishes the game, the product, and the reputation. Including the dopey officials telling you a play is being challenged after they just returned from a 4 minute commercial, only to make the most mind-bogglingly absurd interpretation of the rule that will now muck up the game in perpetuity.

    ANYONE can do Roger Goodells job. ANYONE. He’s done nothing but harm to the game. The popularity of the league is directly related to Fantasy Football and online gambling. Not Roger’s leadership and decision making. It’s gambling. It’s only a matter of time before the NFL lobbies to legalize sportsbooks to inject another shot of adrenaline into interest in the sport to counter fledgling ratings.

  48. If you get in trouble, you better get a good attorney NOT a public defender..
    If you are on probation and get in trouble, you will be back in jail..
    The more arrests you have, the longer time you will serve!

  49. citizenstrange says:
    October 17, 2017 at 10:23 am

    The NFL could start by eliminating their own death sentence for marijuana use. He is draconian to suspend a player for a year or even end their career because they get high.
    ___________________________________________________

    draconian, ha! I do not think it means what you think it means

    You have never been to a communist or poverty sickened country if you think that defines draconianism

  50. One of the many reasons it’s hard to take Kaepernick seriously was his outspoken refusal to vote when there were important state social initiatives on his ballot including…wait for it…sentencing reform.

  51. Promote better behavior, what a clueless bloke. If you can’t get any well-paying jobs due to a system that doesn’t provide proper educational tools, there are no available resources in your community, bills are piling up, you have sick relatives who don’t have insurance and you have other family members who are in need, you’re most likely gonna end up committing some type of crime.Some of you may never know what it’s like to be hopeless, but your idiotic opinions don’t help.

  52. uncommon1 says:
    October 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Just because Drug User A never assaulted someone, doesn’t mean his drug addiction is “non-violent”. The number of lives lost because of the drug trade is staggering. Shootings, murders, gang-warfare, and turf-wars are all related to the drug trade. Drug use, by nature, is violent because of the lives lost.

    =================

    But this is only because drugs are illegal. Legalize it and take away the black market, and suddenly the fuel for all the criminal activity you describe is gone. The illegality of drugs is the entire reason the drug trade and all associated activity exists.

  53. youngnoizecom says:

    October 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Promote better behavior, what a clueless bloke. If you can’t get any well-paying jobs due to a system that doesn’t provide proper educational tools, there are no available resources in your community, bills are piling up, you have sick relatives who don’t have insurance and you have other family members who are in need, you’re most likely gonna end up committing some type of crime.Some of you may never know what it’s like to be hopeless, but your idiotic opinions don’t help.
    —————————–
    People need to realize, if they can barely afford to take care of themselves, WHY HAVE MULTIPLE KIDS?????

  54. Did anyone else think it was funny that they are addressing drug related issues and it was a “joint” letter…. HA!

  55. 5280broncosfan says:
    October 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Rodger is trying to do the right thing for the players after screwing them over constantly for the last few years.
    ———————-

    No he isn’t. He’s trying to make it look like the NFL cares so that the players will stop protesting and hurting the bottom line.

  56. You think congress will actually do something? They can’t come to an agreement that 2+2=4. And half of them would resist even debating it.

  57. great, so we are in the middle of perhaps the biggest drug epidemic in our countries history, causing thousands of deaths, costing millions, if not billions, of dollars and ruining entire communities with addiction….but we’ll reduce sentences for “non-violent” drug offences….what a crazy f-up’d world we live in. You want to reduce sentences for recreational users, I’ll listen, just don’t tell me there is no violence in dealing ANY illegal drug.

  58. A great issue to bring up by Baldwin and Goodell, too bad Sessions is a tough “law and order” guy except when it comes to his close buddies.

  59. I was watching the Titans and the Colts last night and thought “why do I care about this”? I shut my TV off and watched “Fear The Walking Dead” reruns with my wife. I think I may just about be done> If I want a platform to promote social issues I’ll listen to NPR radio or PBS TV not millionaire protesters pretending they care about a game or the fans that matter.

  60. youngnoizecom says:
    October 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm
    Promote better behavior, what a clueless bloke. If you can’t get any well-paying jobs due to a system that doesn’t provide proper educational tools, there are no available resources in your community, bills are piling up, you have sick relatives who don’t have insurance and you have other family members who are in need, you’re most likely gonna end up committing some type of crime.Some of you may never know what it’s like to be hopeless, but your idiotic opinions don’t help.

    ———

    You must be a millennial…..you play the victim well…

    If you can’t make it here in America it’s not the country….it’s you.

  61. If you’re an addict, you shouldn’t be in jail anyway, you should be in rehab/ a mental health institute.

    I’ve also never met anyone who got high and said “I’m going to go rob a bank.” Because halfway through that thought, they’ve either forgotten what they were thinking or moved onto another stupid topic like “Which cereal is better, A or B”

    —–

    Are you serious? I have and I personally knew people who committed violent crimes while high. One person in particular, who nobody would ever believe would commit a violent crime, and he committed a heinous crime while high.

  62. Why doesn’t Goodell reform the NFL sentencing system, which sentenced Brady to a 4 game suspension without any proof of guilt, and he is doing it again by sentencing Ezekiel Elliot to a 4 game suspension without any proof of guilt. Does Goodell think that he is holier than anybody else when it comes to fair sentencing?

  63. Why do we want to make it easier to do drugs? and get away with it. I agree everyone should be sentenced equally whether you are black or white. But make the sentences longer for everyone no matter what skin color you are not shorter.

  64. Goodell needs to clean his room first before worrying about somebody else’s mess. Stay out of politics, you’re killing your brand!

  65. Excuse me if I don’t fall for this sudden interest in Goodell’s “do good” agenda. He is so transparent!! Anything to try and ignore the true elephant in the room, uh Rog???? Needing some good PR, uh Rog???? Try being a LEADER in the NFL, and quit playing both ends against the middle…However, it may be too late 🙂

  66. But this is only because drugs are illegal. Legalize it and take away the black market, and suddenly the fuel for all the criminal activity you describe is gone. The illegality of drugs is the entire reason the drug trade and all associated activity exists.
    *********
    So if Heroin becomes legal suddenly the addicts will no longer have to steal to support their habit? If a parent can buy meth at Walgreens then they’ll suddenly remember to feed their children and not leave them at home, unsupervised for days on end?
    If crack becomes legal suddenly crackheads will stop having drug induced psychosis and attacking random people on the street?

    If drugs become legal people won’t go weeks-long benders of drug use and paranoia that ends with them screaming at children in the street or chasing buses down the highway? Awesome. Good to hear we just need to make it legal and all of the illegal activity will stop

  67. Hey Roger. Try advocating for causes that lead to better behavior. Maybe then you won’t need your wife phantom tweeting to repair the reputation you have earned for blatantly trying to bend every rule in your $$$ favor.

  68. It’s nutty for the NFL to have a position on non-football related matters before Congress. Next will be tax reform, DACA, healthcare, etc. It’s fine for Baldwin to support a bill but Goodell, whose father was a Senator should have more sense.

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