49ers' Fred Warner explains how fighting injustices can't stop in NFL


In what still feels like a surprise, commissioner Roger Goodell admitted just over one week ago that the NFL was wrong for "not listening to NFL players earlier" and they "encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," while also failing to mention Colin Kaepernick's name

It didn't stop there, though. The NFL announced on June 11 that they will be donating $250 million over 10 years to help combat systemic racism. Prior to that, the 49ers also announced they are donating $1 million to local and national organizations committed to social change.

Linebacker Fred Warner, who's entering his third season with the 49ers, knows the fight can't stop once the NFL season starts. 

"I think the key is to try and find a solution where we can keep the conversation going," Warner said on a roundtable that included White House correspondent April Ryan, along with NFL Media's Steve Wyche and MJ Acosta. "Whatever that means or however we do that, using our platform is very important right now because we have a voice that a lot of people don't have -- to be able to reach a lot of different minds."

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Players throughout the league have been vocal in public and behind closed doors regarding racial and social injustices since George Floyd, an African American man, died in Minneapolis police custody. Warner's Twitter profile isn't full of tweets fighting the issues, but he did retweet coach Kyle Shanahan's words on racism and police brutality. 

Warner also has been a part of a 49ers group on Zoom that has spoken extensively about issues and resolutions. 

"At the end of the day, the change needs to start inward," Warner said. "I look at myself. How can I be a better person in the community and in society where I can treat others with the same love and passion as I do with my own family? I think you need to look inward, speak to your children.

"The youth are extremely powerful in this in creating real progress."

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As far as what the 49ers will do on the field as a possible protest, Warner didn't give any hints. He just wants to make sure the conversation isn't pushed to the side just because there might be a distraction with a football game. 

The task at hand must come first.

"Obviously we have a long way to go to where we need to be as a country, and in terms of what we're gonna do as a team, I'm sure we'll come up with something," Warner said. "I'm sure that's league wide with how we'll continue to make this relevant and keep the conversation going to where we can create change."