Richard Sherman calls out Jerry Jones for silence on racism, protests

Richard Sherman calls out Jerry Jones for silence on racism, protests

A number of key NFL figures have spoken out against systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.

Roger Goodell admitted he was wrong in not standing with the players who peacefully protested by kneeling during the national anthem -- although he didn't mention Colin Kaepernick -- and said he stands behind his players. Drew Brees apologized for his comments about players taking a knee during the anthem and made a public response to President Donald Trump telling him "we no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities."

While many have spoken out in support of the movement, there has been relative silence from many of the NFL's most notable owners, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. And 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman noted that silence from the owners speaks volumes, especially from Jones who rarely is afraid to voice his opinion.

"It's not pulling them like it is the rest of the country," Sherman told The San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch. "Because if it was, then they'd speak. Jerry Jones, especially, has no problem speaking up any other time about anything else. But when it's such a serious issue, and he could really make a huge impact on it with a few words, his silence speaks volumes."

Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant wanted Jones to attend the protest in Austin on Sunday.

Bryant later clarified that his tweet was not meant to paint Jones in a bad light.

"I know Jerry's heart -- he's a compassionate person, and he's not a racist," Bryant told Sports Illustrated.

While Jones hasn't spoken out, a few owners have and 49ers CEO Jed York donated $1 million to organizations fighting for social justice.

"Any time you see heinous acts, you have to be able to call them out," York told NFL Media's Jim Trotter. "But in terms of the pledge, I think it's very important that actions and words need to go together if you're going to facilitate change in America, and that's what we wanted to do." 

Sherman commended York, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch for what they have addressed the issue of racism in America with the players and listened to them about how they can all help to enact change.

"They’ve done a great job of just making sure that our players understand that we can have these conversations,” Sherman told Branch. “We can start to try to find ways to tear down those walls and create more progress and more change.

" ... They were talking to us about how we can really put that ($1 million) to use in different ways. Whether it’s a forum. Or going out in the community and educating people. Or flying to different places and doing that. They want to really invoke change. And they’re really passionate about it. So it’s been a cool discussion to be a part of.”

[RELATED: Sherman accepts Brees' apology for kneeling comments]

Sherman has been impressed by the number of white quarterbacks who have spoken out and vowed to help create change and be an ally of the black community. Carson Wentz, Joe Burrow and Ryan Tannehill were among the first to speak out along with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who vowed to no longer stick to sports as he tries to unite people.

Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have sprung up nationwide after a video showed Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man die in police custody with Derek Chauvin, a white officer, kneeling on his neck for over eight minutes. Video showed Floyd telling Chauvin and the three other officers watching that he couldn't breathe, but Chauvin didn't relent and it was later announced Floyd died in police custody.

Chauvin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the other three were charged with aiding and abetting on both counts.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

NFL rumors: Seahawks 'talking to both' Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews

NFL rumors: Seahawks 'talking to both' Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews

Jadeveon Clowney no longer fits into the Seattle Seahawks' plans -- nor is he a consideration for the 49ers -- due to the free agent's salary demands. It's difficult to see a path in which he would return for a second season with the Seahawks -- that is, unless he significantly lowered those demands.

Nobody, including the Seahawks, is counting on that. Consequently, they reportedly have turned their attention to two other free agent pass-rushers: Everson Griffen and Clay Matthews.

NFL Media's Mike Silver reported Thursday that Seattle could soon come to an agreement with one or both of the veteran free agents.

"The Seahawks' price has come way down," Silver said. "Clowney's price, if anything, is above their original $15 million-plus offer. So, maybe the (Tennessee) Titans, but we'll see on Clowney. But yeah, Everson Griffen -- long career with the (Minnesota) Vikings -- and then Clay Matthews, who had I thought a pretty good year with the (Los Angeles) Rams after he was healthy after his long run in Green Bay. Two former (USC) Trojans who can get after the passer. They are talking to both and I think a move could come pretty quickly, at least with one of them."

Griffen was drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round in 2010 and has spent his entire career with the franchise up to this point, amassing 74.5 career sacks over that span. Matthews, meanwhile, spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Packers before joining the Rams for this past season. He has totaled 91.5 sacks over 11 seasons, including 8.0 in 2019.

[RELATED: Bosa believes Kinlaw will 'kill it' in his 49ers rookie season]

Both Griffen and Matthews would present a significant upgrade for Seattle's pass rush, particularly considering Clowney is unlikely to be a part of it. The Seahawks' 28 sacks last season tied for the second-fewest in the NFL, while their adjusted sack rate ranked 30th in the league -- and that was with Clowney.

While Griffen and Matthews have both been productive, neither is the potential game-wrecker that Clowney is. Nonetheless, should Seattle add one or both of them, it should only make them more competitive within the NFC West.

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49ers' Nick Bosa expects Javon Kinlaw to 'kill it' in rookie season

49ers' Nick Bosa expects Javon Kinlaw to 'kill it' in rookie season

Nick Bosa already had no doubts 49ers rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw would be able to immediately compete in the NFL due to his strength.

And after taking part in an offseason of video meetings and seeing him for a short period of time on the 49ers’ practice field, Bosa is confident Kinlaw will not be overwhelmed mentally, either.

“Javon is a really good kid,” said Bosa, 22, who also happens to be 20 days younger than Kinlaw.

The 49ers selected Kinlaw with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to, in effect, take the spot of DeForest Buckner, whom San Francisco traded to the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason for a first-round pick.

“He’s really hard-working in the meeting room,” Bosa said of Kinlaw. “He knows all his stuff really well. He doesn’t seem like a rookie out there. We’ve only been out to a couple of walk-throughs so far and he knows his stuff. He doesn’t look like a rookie.”

[RELATED: Bosa Bros have talked about possibility of playing together]

When Bosa said Kinlaw doesn't look like a rookie, he also means that his body type is impressive. Kinlaw is listed at 6-foot-5, 319 pounds.

“He’s one of the biggest humans I’ve ever seen in person," Bosa added. "That says a lot when you’ve had Arik (Armstead) and Buck on your team. I’m just excited for him to have this opportunity, and I think he’s going to kill it.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]