Jed York

Shanahan: York has been supportive of 49ers' building project


Shanahan: York has been supportive of 49ers' building project

SANTA CLARA – After moving on from Jim Harbaugh following the 2014 season, 49ers CEO Jed York fired back-to-back coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly after just one season apiece.

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is a lot more secure despite the team’s franchise-worst nine-game losing streak to open the season.

Shanahan said he speaks with York after games and, typically, on Monday evenings. He said their conversations are open and honest and they plot a course for future seasons he believes will result in more wins than losses.

“He’s somebody you can be honest with,” Shanahan said. “I don’t really beat around the bush with him. I’ve kind of told him direct how I feel about everything since the first day we met. I think that’s why we can get places together.

“We don’t try to hide things from each other. He knows what I’m expecting. I know what he’s expecting. He’s been great to me – very supportive.”

Shanahan said it has been difficult after every game to face 49ers ownership as the losses continue to mount. The 49ers’ roster was not strong to open the season. It is even more thin now due mostly to injuries to key players.

"It's hard after each game to look at the owners and say, 'We're sorry. I know we didn't do it again,'" Shanahan said. "That is very tough on me. I wish I could make this look better for him right now. I know it isn't there right now, but I know it will be. He's been great with that and understanding of that, too. They've really let us do our job.”

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have some time to get things right. Both men signed six-year contracts to replace Kelly and fired general manager Trent Baalke.

“I believe in the people here,” Shanahan said. “I believe in this organization. I believe in the resources we have to improve. People win in this league because you make good decisions, you’re committed to winning, you spend money in free agency, you make the right decisions for the short term and the long term, you don’t make (decisions) based off perception just to get people off your back.

“I know we haven’t (won) here in a while. I’d love to change it right away. But I do believe we’re in the process of changing it. I know the record doesn’t show that, so actions are much stronger than my words, but I’m extremely confident we’re going in the right direction and we’ll see that over time.”

49ers, York are about to get the answer they don’t want


49ers, York are about to get the answer they don’t want

The San Francisco 49ers are getting a massive amount of stick for their fan questionnaire in which they asked the seemingly ridiculous question, “How important is winning to your stadium experience?”

As in, “Do you need to ask this at all?”

But it speaks to the state of the business (as opposed to the franchise) that someone thought it needed to be asked. And that someone was probably Jed York.

Remember that Levi’s Stadium is his baby, the object by which he measures his value in the marketplace. Everything about the stadium shrieks his belief that the stadium is a standalone triumph, a multi-event mecca that is its own attraction.

Thus, for him, the question is his way of trying to quantify his core belief -- that the stadium is its own attraction.

Except that (a) he asked 49er fans, whose interest is the football produce rather than the commodious restrooms or luxurious suites. Except that (b) he asked at this fresh nadir in club history, when they have won seven of their last 39 games. Except that (c) most people view the stadium as the place where his football team plays, and he will always be regarded as a football owner, not a venue operator.

That’s why the question seems ridiculous. It’s that York doesn’t really want to be thought of as the football owner because his experience has been fairly unhappy. When the team was good, he was warring with the head coach, to the point where he chose not winning over daily migraines as his preferred option. When the team was bad, people rented planes to slag him.

As a football operator, he isn’t having fun. At all.

So he has the question asked, “Do you love the thing I actually did so much that you’ll ignore the thing that makes me susceptible to fan abuse and migraines?”

He will find that he is about to get the answer he doesn’t want -- that football fans want quality football, first and foremost. And he shouldn’t expect any different. His customer base sat through Candlestick Park for 40-plus years, for God’s sake. They voted with their feet and lungs as well as their wallets, and they’re voting now.

But the 49ers asked the question anyway, because they were hoping for a different answer. What they have gotten is laughter. What they’re going to get is a rebuke from the customers, and a renewed understanding that the future of the empire lies with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan more than with Coldplay tours.

Then again, maybe they get a lot of responses from fans saying, “No, I actually prefer the losing.” In which case this is the best questionnaire ever, and the 49ers are meeting their customers’ needs far more brilliantly than we imagined.

49ers CEO Jed York responds to Trump's 'callous and offensive comments'


49ers CEO Jed York responds to Trump's 'callous and offensive comments'

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York responded emphatically to the comments of President Donald Trump's views of those who take a knee in NFL games during the national anthem. 

Speaking in Huntsville, AL, on Friday, Trump told a group of his supporters during a campaign rally, "wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired."

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a protest against social injustices last season. As he did last season, 49ers safety Eric Reid has continued to take a knee during the 2017 season.

York was the third representative of an NFL team to speak out against Trump's actions. Since then, the Packers and Falcons have issued a statements.