Vikings linebackers rip NFL's statement after George Floyd's death


Vikings linebackers rip NFL's statement after George Floyd's death

The NFL's statement in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody drew criticism from around the sports world, with Minnesota Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr being the latest to condemn the league for its hypocrisy.

Both linebackers sent a series of identical tweets condemning the league's statement and lack of past action and asking for help to enact change.

While the NFL's statement claims it is looking to address the systemic issues together, that flies in the face of their treatment of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 in protest of police brutality against African-Americans. Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016. After opting out of his contract with the 49ers, he was not signed by another team and he has alleged that NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league. Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL in 2019.

Kaepernick's peaceful protest has received renewed attention in the wake of Floyd's death in police custody as citizens march across the United States to protest police brutality and systemic racism.

Floyd, a 46-year old African-American man died in police custody and citizens filmed Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer placing his knee on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. Floyd told Chauvin and the three other officers who were watching that he couldn't breathe and asked Chauvin to let up, but Chauvin kept his knee pressed into Floyd's neck for over three minutes after he became unconscious. It was later announced Floyd died in police custody. Chauvin was arrested Friday and will be charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other officers have not been arrested but still could face charges.

While the NFL's statement was tone-deaf, several organizations from around the sports world have given thoughtful statements and put their money where their mouth is.

49ers owner Jed York donated $1 million to organizations dedicated to social change.

"We started some social justice work and using that term when Colin started his protest," York told NFL Media's Jim Trotter. "I think we'd always been working in this area but it was clear to label it social justice. ... I think the piece that we missed in 2016, and it's a fairly simple piece, I don't know if anybody actually addressed what the issue was, and we're trying to fight racism in this country.

"I think that's what we need to clearly call out, and you can't defeat something if you can't admit that's actually what you're fighting." 

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Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a powerful statement condemning the "murder" of Floyd and has been meeting with officials in Henderson, Nevada to listen, learn and try to be part of positive change.

"If they have something to say, I'll stand beside them," Davis told ESPN. "I won't stand behind them. I'll stand beside them. And if there's something I don't know, I'm happy to listen to them. We've got to find a solution."

Steph Curry, Chris Long and Steve Kerr all have called for white people to get uncomfortable, speak up and be part of the solution. Kerr and Long both spoke on the importance of star white quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers speaking out on the matter. 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman echoed the importance of white quarterbacks speaking up at this moment.

The criticism of the NFL is warranted given their treatment of Kaepernick, Eric Reid and others who knelt to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Kaepernick's protest wasn't accepted by the league as it should have been. His action was born out of the desire to enact change. He not only sacrificed his career (to this point) but he also has donated more than $1 million to organizations fighting for social change. The NFL could have listened, acknowledge and amplified Kaepernick's message. Instead, it chose to do the opposite.

The statement itself was tone-deaf and their inaction in the fight against systemic racism will always be louder than four paragraphs on a tweet.

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

Watch 49ers' George Kittle bench press a ridiculous amount in workout

Watch 49ers' George Kittle bench press a ridiculous amount in workout

If you want to know how strong George Kittle is, you can just ask Marcus Williams.

If you don't have the ability to contact an NFL safety and/or don't want to troll one on social media while trying to do so, you can just watch this video of the 49ers tight end bench-pressing a ridiculous amount of weight courtesy of trainer Josh Cuthbert.

That's five plates on each side of the bar, which Cuthbert said in a comment on his post added up to 375 pounds.

So, Kittle could bench press new 49ers left tackle Trent Williams' listed weight on the team website ... and still have 55 pounds to work with.

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

Cuthbert conspiculously included the hashtag #PayGeorgeKittle, referring to the star tight end's contract extension negotiations with the 49ers. Kittle didn't share that post on his Instagram story, which shouldn't be much of a surprise considering his prior comments about not wanting to hold out.

“Being a captain, I want to be there for my team and I need to show the right leadership skills,” Kittle said.

Even if Kittle did hold out, it'd be hard to argue against the example that video would set from a distance.

[RELATED: Taylor shows off muscles, gets roasted by 49ers teammates]

It's not clear if Kittle and the 49ers will agree to a contract extension before training camp is scheduled to begin later this month. NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported last month that the two sides haven't appeared to make much progress.

If and when Kittle reaches an agreement with the 49ers, they'll know he pretty easily could bench-press the table it's signed upon.

49ers' Trent Taylor hilariously trolled by teammates for muscle pose

49ers' Trent Taylor hilariously trolled by teammates for muscle pose

The 49ers love to rip on one another, and no player's Instagram posts are safe.

Exhibit No. 4,949 (give or take)? Trent Taylor's thirst trap Instagram photo from earlier this week.

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Stache Gainz (early stages)

A post shared by Trent Nelson Taylor (@trent5taylor) on

Based on the picture above, you surely know what followed.

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Taylor didn't play a single game in 2019, missing all of the season due to complications with his injured foot. You wouldn't know that reading the comments, though.

The 26-year-old slot receiver was a fixture at the 49ers' player-organized workouts earlier in the offseason, rebuilding a connection with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that was so strong in 2017. Taylor could play a big role this season, considering Deebo Samuel and Richie James' offseason injuries.

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The 49ers hope Taylor can reach his 2017 level, and some big performances surely would lead to more Instagram posts.

That, more than anything, might be why his teammates want to see Taylor succeed.