49ers' Kyle Shanahan decries daily 'fact' of racism in United States

49ers' Kyle Shanahan decries daily 'fact' of racism in United States

Kyle Shanahan, the son of a Hall of Fame coach, never spent more than four years in any one location growing up.

The 49ers coach moved around the country, making friends with his sports teammates. He always enjoyed a diverse group of friends.

Shanahan said Thursday during a video call with Bay Area reporters that he could see the problems from an early age. He noticed how his black friends acted differently -- scared, in fact -- in the presence of police officers.

“Racism is a big deal in our country right now,” Shanahan said. “That’s a fact. That’s not debatable. It’s always been a big deal. And it is today, just as it was a hundred years ago. I think something as a white person that bothers me is I don’t think all white people realize that.”

It is a subject Shanahan said he addressed this week with his 49ers players during their virtual meetings.

Shanahan spoke to many of the team’s offensive players on Monday. The next day, he addressed most of the 49ers’ defensive players. On Wednesday, Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch got on a call with about a dozen veteran players.

“Racism is all over,” Shanahan said. “And it’s what black people deal with every day. And white people are very sheltered to that and ignorant. And that’s the message that’s been missed.

“I think white people are listening more than I’ve ever heard before, which is good. And that’s the starting point because it’s happened too long.”

George Floyd, an African American man, died last week after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the nation and the world.

The outcry around the country appears to be much greater than when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting in 2016. One year later, a white nationalists rally to protest the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Va. turned deadly.

“If I’m screaming for something that’s wrong, and it keeps happening, I mean, you’re going to do whatever you have to do to get people to hear you when something is that messed up,” Shanahan said. “And so each time, hell yeah, it gets worse because black people are fed up.

“And I know I’m fed up with seeing this. How do you stop this? It takes a really bad person to do something like this. The problem is, percentage-wise, there are a little too many bad people. And a community has to fix that.”

[RELATEDShanahan says people should respect and admire Kaepernick]

Shanahan said he and team members talked about the importance of voting to get their voices heard. He said the team also is discussing a number of ways in which it can affect change.

“The main thing is, how do you do it now? How do you do it a week from now? And how do you do it every day of your life? And I think everyone has to do that somewhat individually,” Shanahan said.

“I know our players are so passionate, black guys and white guys, about trying to fix this. But I think we all know it’s not an easy answer.”

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What Myles Garrett's reported new contract means for Nick Bosa, 49ers

What Myles Garrett's reported new contract means for Nick Bosa, 49ers

Nick Bosa got off to a tremendous start to his NFL career, and it came as no surprise when he was named the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Though the award can be viewed as the culmination of one hell of a rookie season, it also points to an extremely bright future for the former No. 2 overall draft pick.

A quick glance at the list of NFL Defensive Rookies of the Year from the past decade suggests that Bosa is just scratching the surface of his dominance. From Von Miller to Luke Kuechly (retired) to Aaron Donald, his older brother Joey and tackling machine Darius Leonard, it's a who's who of the most impactful defensive players in today's game. One phenomenal defensive player not included on that list is Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who likely would have won the award in 2017 had he not missed the first four weeks of the season.

Ever since, Garrett has established himself as possibly the most feared defensive player in the league. He has accumulated 23.5 sacks in 26 games over the last two seasons combined, and figures to terrorize the AFC North for many years to come. That became far more certain Monday when NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that Garrett and the Browns were nearing a historic contract extension, worth $125 million over five years.

Once signed, Garrett would become the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, and would leapfrog Chicago Bears pass-rusher extraordinaire Khalil Mack to become the highest-paid defensive player in annual average salary in NFL history.

It's definitely a deserved number, though chances are he won't maintain that status as the top AAV salary among defensive players for long. Each year, new deals are struck, eclipsing those of the season before. Jimmy Garoppolo's contract, for instance, once viewed as an albatross no longer ranks among the top 10 salaries at his position.

If there's any one defensive player who should be most excited by Garrett's pending agreement, it's Bosa. He already is among the very best defensive players in the league, and it won't be long until the 49ers lock him up with his own record-setting extension.

Garrett entered the offseason with two years remaining on his rookie contract (counting the fifth-year option), so that can give you an idea of when a Bosa extension might come. Luckily for San Francisco, that's still a couple of offseasons away. His fifth-year option most certainly will be picked up, so based on the timing of Garrett's extension, we can assume Bosa might get his following the 2021 season.

Why is that lucky for San Francisco? Given the certainty of a massive drop in league revenue for the upcoming 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the salary cap is expected to -- at the very best -- remain flat, with a significant drop far more likely. The recent moves by the Chiefs, signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a mind-blowing contract extension and reportedly signing defensive tackle Chris Jones to another huge number -- both of which are considerably backloaded -- suggest that Kansas City expects the salary cap to substantially increase in the near future.

[RELATED: Could 49ers' Kinlaw follow Bosa's footsteps, win DROY?]

Assuming he remains healthy, Bosa will get more than Garrett did. Whatever that number is, it would be tremendously tough for the 49ers to fit that into the current salary cap. But a couple years from now, San Francisco very well could have the resources to pay Bosa, as well as a few other key players due for extensions.

The 49ers just missed out on the opportunity to select Garrett in the 2017 NFL Draft. Two years later, they nabbed Bosa, who just might be better and eventually will be paid like it.

NFL rumors: 49ers interested in signing Jarius Wright in free agency

NFL rumors: 49ers interested in signing Jarius Wright in free agency

Help could be on the way for the 49ers. Receivers Deebo Samuel and Richie James went down to injuries this offseason, and San Francisco reportedly is eyeing a veteran. 

The Athletic's Ben Standig reported Tuesday receiver Jarius Wright is on the 49ers' short list of free agents to sign right now. 

Wright played for the Carolina Panthers last season, finishing with just 28 receptions for 296 receiving yards and no touchdowns. He is an eight-year veteran, though, with plenty of experience under his belt. 

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Samuel (fractured foot) and James (fractured wrist) both are expected to be back before the regular season begins. But that's being optimistic, which doesn't always come to fruition with injuries.

In their absence, players like rookie Brandon Aiyuk and Jalen Hurd will have to step up for the 49ers. The door could even open for seventh-round pick Jauan Jennings

[RELATED: Madden 21 leak reveals top-10 rated 49ers players this year]

The 49ers also should receive a big boost with the healthy return of slot receiver Trent Taylor, who has looked explosive in offseason workouts. Dante Pettis shouldn't be written off quite yet, either.

But coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch very well could want to add a veteran for training camp. Perhaps that's where Wright fits. 

The 49ers believe in their talented, unproven group of young receivers. Still, it never hurts to add experience to the fold.