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Jed York, 49ers provide $75,000 gift to North Carolina LGBTQ organization during NFL owners' meetings

Fooch's update: York spoke with The Bay Area Reporter about the donation and statement. It turns out the $75,000 gift is one of the single largest donations Equality North Carolina has ever received. York was asked about the NFL's decision to not change the meeting location:

"I certainly understand why the meeting wasn’t changed. But I didn’t want to come here and not, at least, let my opinion be heard and make sure the folks fighting HB 2 on the ground had the resources to continue their fight to repeal HB 2."

York was put in touch with the organization by former San Francisco supervisor Bevan Dufty. York also said he was struck by a recent 60 Minutes interview with Harvard University swimmer Schuyler Bailar, who was accepted onto Harvard's women's swimming team, but later joined the men's team after transitioning to become a male.

"His story really stuck with me. I admire Schuyler‘s courage," said York. "This issue if you don’t know enough about it, if you don’t have a trans family member or friend you are close to, it seems strange. The more we can do to let people know there are people like Schuyler out there, really human individuals who have a difficult time figuring out who they are and want to be, I don’t think we will see discriminatory laws like HB 2 in place."

The NFL owners' meetings are taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina this week, and with issues surrounding House Bill 2 (overturned certain protections for LGBTQ individuals, and requires individuals use the bathroom for the sex designated on their birth certificate), there have been some questions about it. LGBTQ groups called for NFL owners to move the meeting, and while other groups, sports, and artists made changes, the NFL elected to move forward with the meetings.

Jed York is on hand for the meetings, and has made a fairly notable statement about HB2. York and the 49ers have presented a gift of $75,000 to the Equality North Carolina Foundation this week. The organization is North Carolina's largest LGBTQ advocacy organization. York released a statement as well, which I have pasted at the bottom of this article.

While I was hoping the NFL would move the meetings, I am pleased to see this kind of significant statement from the 49ers. Sure, Jed York could have also chosen to skip the meetings, but this still strikes me as a significant statement. There is plenty to criticize about Jed York, but this is something I am happy to see from him.

I know there are going to be people with different views on this issue. We can disagree in a respectful fashion.

"The San Francisco 49ers are deeply concerned about North Carolina’s recently-enacted House Bill 2, which overturned protections for LGBT people and sanctioned discrimination across the state. HB 2 does not reflect the values of our organization, of our country, or the majority of North Carolinians.

We firmly believe that discriminatory laws such as HB 2 are bad for our employees, bad for our fans, and bad for business. We believe that HB 2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country. It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for sporting events, tourism and conventions, and new business activity.

Discrimination is wrong, and we believe it has no place in North Carolina or anywhere in our country. As an organization that prides ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all, we strongly urge Governor Pat McCrory and the leadership of North Carolina’s legislature to repeal this law in the current legislative session."