SANTA CLARA – The 49es’ internal discussion of how to proceed with a unified protest of racial inequality has not impacted the team’s preparations this week, coach Kyle Shanahan said.
“No, not at all,” Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday during a weekly sit-down interview that airs on 49ers Game Plan.
“You don’t change your routine. I think it’s something that you definitely have to address, especially with what happened this weekend. So we addressed it the first thing Monday. It was a bonus day. Usually, Monday is the day after a game. For us, it was four days after a game, so we had that extra time.”
The 49ers were off over the weekend when there was widespread reaction around the league prompted by President Trump’s remarks in which he encouraged NFL owners to cut any player who takes part in a protest during the playing of the national anthem.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired,'" Trump said during a speech in Alabama last Friday.
Shanahan said the topic was addressed for approximately five minutes during a team meeting on Monday. Shanahan later got together with the team’s 12-player leadership council for about 20 minutes.
A players-only meeting was held Thursday after practice to further discuss options for an appropriate unified action.
“On Thursdays after practice we let the players get out of here,” Shanahan said. “We start up early Friday to review practice. Those guys right now are actually getting together and talking about exactly what they’d like to do to really represent their support for each other.
“They’re going to let me know afterward and we’ll figure that out. But that will probably be about 15 minutes dedicated to that before we get on the plane to fly to Arizona on Saturday.”
It is not known what the team has planned for Sunday prior to the 49ers’ game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona.
“I think we as a team, as long as we stick together, we could figure something out and come together as one,” 49ers veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman said prior to the team meeting.
When asked how the team would respond, Bowman said, “That remains to be seen on Sunday.”