49ers

Shanahan follows 49ers players' lead after Blake shooting

49ers
USATSI

SANTA CLARA -- In the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting and resulting NBA boycott of games on Wednesday, Kyle Shanahan shared that there is an open dialogue at 49ers headquarters. 

“I usually follow the lead of our players on that," Shanahan said Thursday. “If it was important, if they wanted to not practice today, we definitely would have done that, but no one brought that to my attention.

“I opened it up to all them and that wasn’t what they wanted to do.”

Blake, a 29-year old Black man, was shot in the back seven times by police offers in Kenosha, Wis. on Sunday. Blake survived the shooting but his father says that he is paralyzed from the waist down.

Shanahan closed out practice on Wednesday with a message reminding his team that his door is open for discussion for any concerns whatsoever. He added that the case is the same for general manager John Lynch as well as CEO Jed York. 

The team had several conversations revolving around social injustice during the offseason via video conferences. Because of the extended offseason, Shanahan believes that reporting for camp was a welcome distraction for many players. But he also understands that it may not be the case for everyone. 

The head coach added that if anyone needed time off, there would be zero hesitation on the organization’s part to allow that. 

 

“It was nice for us to get back into our building,” Shanahan said. “I feel like this place is a little bit of a sanctuary for us where you can come in and be yourself. We have a very authentic relationship between everyone in our building. 

“It’s a place you don’t really have to walk around on eggshells. You can just be yourself and I feel that’s been good for our players.”

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Raheem Mostert is thankful for the open-door policy in the 49ers' building and the family atmosphere. He knows that any concerns he has would be addressed sincerely and honestly. 

The running back believes that because the team has had an open conversation throughout the offseason, there was not a need to have a team meeting specifically addressing the NBA boycott or canceling practice. 

Mostert, who is expecting his second child this fall, has voiced his concerns regarding his family’s health due to COVID-19. His family currently remains in Cleveland, Ohio and he has still not decided if he will be present for the birth. 

“At the end of the day, that’s all that matters,” Mostert said. “Human life is the most important thing. We have to value that. Sports is a key aspect in life for a lot of people but at the same time, life is more important than just sports.”