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Anquan Boldin throws his support behind Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee

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The veteran wide receiver heads for Atlanta to campaign for a progressive champion.

Detroit Lions v Houston Texans Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Lions slot receiver Anquan Boldin may potentially be hitting free agency or retirement soon enough, but he’s got time to deal with bigger issues right now. In an exclusive report to SB Nation’s Tyler Tynes, Minnesota representative Keith Ellison confirmed that Boldin would be coming down to Atlanta over the weekend to help in Ellison’s effort to secure nomination for the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Tynes’ reporting has many important details, but the interaction between Boldin and Ellison began in earnest last November when Boldin and other NFL players met with Washington lawmakers to discuss police and race relations. Boldin has been at the heart of the matter with other NFL players since Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest sparked renewed conversation around the league among players and their roles in discussing such topics.

The Democratic Party seeks to find a replacement for former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned after DNC emails were leaked revealing she had inappropriately supported the presidential campaign of Hilary Clinton over her primary opponent Bernie Sanders.

Keith Ellison became the first Muslim to serve in the United States Congress in 2007. He has served for ten years as a progressive voice for the Democratic Party and currently co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

For many on the political left in the United States, Keith Ellison represents a continuation of the political mission and populist energy that sprung from Sanders’ presidential campaign. The Vermont senator enjoyed Ellison’s support during the Democratic primary and Sanders has in turn backed Ellison’s run for the DNC chair. As such, many left-aligned factions see Ellison as a genuine hope to reject “Third Way” neoliberalism that has been at the heart of the Democratic Party for the last thirty years.

Of course, if Keith Ellison does want to win the chair position, he will need some help. While he maintains popular support among the Democrats’ base, he was behind by 52 votes in the latest whip to former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, a favorite among the centrist/Clinton factions of the Democratic Party.