In the wake of noted white supremacist Donald Trump’s remarks about NFL players and how their peaceful protests of racial inequality make them disrespectful “sons of bitches,” we covered responses from Colin Kaepernick’s mother, Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith. Now, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York has weighed in with his own statement.
The entirety of that statement, released on Saturday afternoon, can be found below:
“The callous and offensive comments made by the President are contradictory to what this great country stands for. Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world. The San Francisco 49ers will continue to work toward bringing communities, and those who serve them, closer together.”
Trump said at a rally in Alabama on Friday that there is no place in the NFL for players who sit during the National Anthem. Trump called it a “total disrespect of our heritage.” Trump himself is notable for caring about only one part of America’s heritage — the extremely violent and racist part — and has now officially spoken more harshly of kneeling during the National Anthem than actual Nazis.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!’” Trump said on Friday.
Kaepernick is without a job after he started a national dialogue and many, myself included, believe he belongs in the NFL. No team wants to sign him due to systemic problems in the league, though I’ve heard personally that the 49ers as an organization have always supported Kaepernick’s actions behind the scenes. York’s statement on Saturday reflects this.