49ers kneel in Arizona, urge citizens to 'come together for the good of all'

49ers kneel in Arizona, urge citizens to 'come together for the good of all'

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The 49ers showed a display of unity prior to playing the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and urged others to follow their example.

The 49ers players, coaches and staff formed two lines along the team's sideline at University of Phoenix Stadium. Approximately 30 players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem, while the remaining members of the sideline staff stood behind them while saluting the flag.

It was the 49ers’ first game since President Trump, in a Sept. 23 speech in Alabama, advised NFL owners to get rid of any player who kneels during the national anthem.

Safety Eric Reid, who is inactive for the game due to a knee injury, took a knee to protest social inequality, during the playing of the national anthem. Reid took a knee, along with Colin Kaepernick, before every game last season.

Reid said during the offseason he would not continue the silent protest this season. But Reid changed his mind after the events last month in Charlottesville, Virginia. Groups described as Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and white nationalists converged on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue honoring Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general in the Civil War who led battle against the United States.

Reid took a knee to protest social injustices for the final two exhibition games and the first four games of the regular season.

The 49ers, in a statement released before the game, asked for all people to put differences aside and work to solve country’s issues. 

The players, coaches, ownership and staff of the 49ers released the following statement:
“At its purest level, football is a unifier of people from all walks of life, different socio-economic backgrounds, every corner of this country and around the world. As players, coaches, ownership and staff, we are privileged to work in an environment that is a tremendous example of how people can come together for a common goal. We not only put our differences aside, but we also use them to achieve that common goal by challenging each other to be better -- both in our professional and personal lives.

“For more than a year, members of our team have protested the oppression and social injustices still present in our society. While some may not have taken a knee or raised a fist, we have all shared the desire to influence positive change. Today, our team chose to publicly display our unity in a new way and, in turn, urge others do the same. Our demonstration is simply a representation of how we hope our country can also come together by putting differences aside and solving its problems.

“As the majority of us have done throughout our careers, we use our platform as members of a NFL team, and our right to freedom of expression, to speak up for those whose voice is not heard. It is important that we continue to emphasize that despite our different backgrounds and beliefs, we still love each other and are truly a brotherhood. Our gesture today was an intentional effort to demonstrate that. Make no mistake, we love this great country and have tremendous respect for our military and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our right to express ourselves freely. We passionately want what is best for this country and all its citizens.

“On behalf of the San Francisco 49ers organization, we urge our fellow citizens to embrace your differences, find strength in them, and come together for the good of all.”

George Kittle likes what he's seen from Ross Dwelley taking his spot


George Kittle likes what he's seen from Ross Dwelley taking his spot

SANTA CLARA – Tight end Ross Dwelley cannot replace George Kittle in the 49ers’ offense, but he came up with some huge plays in the 49ers’ 36-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

While Kittle missed his second consecutive game with knee and ankle injuries, Dwelley stepped up with four catches for 14 yards. His statistics were not prolific, but they were important contributions in the 49ers' ninth victory in 10 games this season.

The 49ers were trailing 16-0 in the first half before Dwelley caught touchdown passes of 4 and 5 yards from Jimmy Garoppolo. Those were the first two touchdown catches of his NFL career.

Then, he had a huge first-down pickup on a third-and-3 play late in the fourth quarter to set up the Garoppolo-to-Jeff Wilson pass that provided the winning points in the closing minute.

Kittle spoke in the locker room after the game on the condition that he only be asked questions about Dwelley, who has started six consecutive games for the 49ers due to injuries to fullback Kyle Juszczyk and, now, Kittle.

“I don’t think anyone really saw that coming when he first got here and the strides he’s taken in these last two years is incredible,” Kittle said of Dwelley, who came to the 49ers last season as an undrafted rookie from the University of San Diego.

“A lot of that is on our coaching staff and tight ends coach (Jon Embree), but a lot of that is on Ross and the time he spends in here getting his body right and mentally. He’s just doing such a great job for this team.”

Kittle compared Dwelley to the way quarterback Nick Mullens stepped in last season when he was needed last season after injuries to Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard. Kittle said he has not had to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Dwelley during the time he has taken over as the starting tight end because Dwelley is on top of things.

“Fortunately, a guy like Ross doesn’t really need a lot of help,” Kittle said. “He’s been preparing to play. He prepares every game like he’s going to start, and he’s going to play every single rep, so he just hopped in, pretty similar to Nick last year.

“He just hops in, and he’s ready to go, and there’s not a lot of, ‘Hey, get your toes wet.’ He’s just out there going full speed, and that’s what you want out of the guy.”

The 49ers hope to get the services of Kittle back next week for the team’s Sunday night game against the Green Bay Packers. Kittle leads the 49ers with 46 receptions for 541 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

Dwelley has 14 catches on the season for 66 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a clutch third-down conversion two weeks ago that helped the 49ers clinch their Week 9 victory over the Cardinals.

Odd 49ers-Cardinals ending results in 'miracle push' of betting line

Odd 49ers-Cardinals ending results in 'miracle push' of betting line

At the conclusion of the 49ers' win over the Cardinals on Sunday, you likely were doing one of three things: running around the room in celebration, breaking everything in sight or crying with laughter.

The first description applies to those who bet on San Francisco to beat the 10-point spread.

The second description applies to those who bet on Arizona.

The third, of course, applies to everyone else who had the enjoyment of watching the Cardinals fumble multiple times on a game-ending hook-and-ladder play that resulted in a 49ers' defensive touchdown that made the scoring margin -- you guessed it -- 10 points.

Yep, when D.J. Reed returned the fumble for a touchdown to put the 49ers up 36-26, it secured what those in the betting world would refer to as a "miracle push." San Francisco spotted Arizona 16 points to begin the game, so Cardinals' bettors were looking great ... until they weren't.

[RELATED: Watch Wilson's late TD catch in 49ers' win vs. Cardinals]

They shouldn't be too upset, though. Just think, it could have been worse. After all, the 49ers never got the chance to attempt an extra point at the end of the game. Then again, the Cardinals missed one in the first quarter.

On second thought ... be upset. Be very upset.