49ers

Eric Reid rips VP Mike Pence, calls exit from 49ers-Colts game 'PR stunt'

Eric Reid rips VP Mike Pence, calls exit from 49ers-Colts game 'PR stunt'

INDIANAPOLIS – San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid sized up the actions Sunday of United States Vice President Mike Pence as a move made for public-relations reasons.

After 23 members of the 49ers took a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial inequality in America, Pence left Lucas Oil Stadium and shortly thereafter released a statement.

Reid, who was inactive for the game with a knee injury, was asked to react after the game.

“My honest reaction? First of all, does anyone know the last time he’s been to a football game?” Reid said. “With that being said, he tweeted out a three-year-old photo (before the game) of him at a Colts game. With the information I have, the last time he’s been to a Colts game was 3 years ago. So this looks like a PR stunt to me.

“He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do to it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to a game, he tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”

President Donald Trump admitted via Twitter that he asked Pence to leave the game if he saw any players taking a knee. Pence, the former Governor of Indiana, was ostensibly at the game for the halftime ceremony during which Peyton Manning got his number retired.

Reid, who joined Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem for all of last season, reiterated the meaning of the protest.

“This is not about the military,” Reid said. “This is not about the flag. This is not about the anthem. My mother served in the armed forces. Three of my uncles served in the armed forces. In fact, my mom would’ve gone to the Persian Gulf War had she not been pregnant with me. I have the upmost respect for the military, the anthem and the flag. So I will say that every time you interview me.

“This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades on top of decades. And I will continue to encourage people to educate themselves of how we got to where we are today, because it didn’t happen overnight. It’s not going to happen overnight to fix these issues, so we’re going to keep talking about it. I know I will keep doing what I feel is necessary to use the platform I have to make those changes.”

Reid added, “It’s really disheartening when everything you were raised on – everything I was raised on – was to be the best person I could be, to help people who need help. And the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we’re trying to put out there.

“I would like to believe that he’s such a busy man that he hasn’t had time to hear our message, but this has been going on for over a year now. So I know that’s not the case.”

The 49ers next week travel to Washington and are situated in a hotel just blocks from the White House.

Watch young Broncos fan almost walk off with Jimmy Garoppolo's helmet

Watch young Broncos fan almost walk off with Jimmy Garoppolo's helmet

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will always make time for his fans.

Heck, he'll even make time for opposing fans. Just don't steal his helmet -- it doesn't matter how cute you are.

During the 49ers-Denver Broncos joint practice on Saturday, Jimmy G ran up to some fans and started signing autographs. Including a young Broncos-shirt wearing kid. The quarterback asked him to hold his helmet for a bit so he could sign, and the youngin' almost ran off with it before Garoppolo asked for it back:

"I need that back, though," Garoppolo laughed.

All in good fun.

[RELATED: Lynch confident Garoppolo will have successful return]

But the man's got to keep that helmet.

It would have been fun to watch him try and run off with it though.

Richard Sherman, 49ers defense 'light years ahead' of last season

Richard Sherman, 49ers defense 'light years ahead' of last season

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The day after Richard Sherman praised both teams for their lack of physical conflict, the re-energized 49ers defense got under the skin of the Broncos and the result was a sideline-clearing skirmish.

“If it’s clean like it was today, two teams just competing, getting after it and perfecting their craft against guys who are different, not all the fights and excess then it’s fine,” Sherman said after the first joint practice in Colorado on Friday,

Unfortunately, it got a little chippy between the 49ers' defense and the Broncos' offense during the second day of team drills.

There was pretty big hit by the 49ers defense that resulted in a tackle for a loss and tempers started to flare. The ensuing play was an incomplete pass from Drew Lock to rookie tight end Troy Fumagalli. Marcell Harris went flying across the field as a result of an apparent blind side shove and both groups tussled on the field for over 30 seconds.

Two Broncos players, receiver Brendan Langley and tight end Bug Howard were ejected from practice. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he didn’t see the melee but like anything else, he will watch the film to make sure his players were not the instigators.

“Yeah, they got into a little scuffle over there,” Shanahan said. “I actually wasn’t on the field, so I didn’t see much of it. By the time I got over there, it was pretty much broken up. I know a couple guys got sent in. I was told none of our guys threw punches, so when I see the tape, we’ll see if they were telling the truth. Hopefully, they were.”

While the 49ers' defense may not have started the fight, they decidedly are more confident this season.

“It’s light years ahead of last year,” Sherman said. “I think it’s just young guys being veterans this year. I think the experience that a lot of guys playing a lot of downs last year gave them the confidence they needed to take the next steps.

“That’s why you see our twos and threes way ahead of where they were last year and our ones light years ahead of where they were, especially with the talent. Even when you’re missing Dee Ford and [Nick] Bosa right now, we’re still making plays, we’re getting the rush, we still have the intensity."

Sherman also noted how the addition of Kwon Alexander’s high level of energy has affected second-year linebacker Fred Warner in a positive way.

“It’s huge,” Sherman said. “You see it because they are tone setters. They’re in the middle they are just about on every tackle. They can feel every pass play every run play and when they’re bringing energy I think it emulates throughout the defense. The D-line feels it, the secondary feels it. Their intensity can change the day.”

[RELATED: Why Lynch is confident Jimmy G will have successful return]

When asked who started the fight, Sherman smiled.

"Good question. We'll just say them. It was them."