Jed York

Jed York says 49ers abstained from NFL anthem vote

Jed York says 49ers abstained from NFL anthem vote

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the vote was unanimous among all 32 teams in the league.

But San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York told reporters at the NFL owners meetings that the policy to prohibit players from any form of protest during the national anthem did not include his support.

The new NFL policy regarding the national anthem states::

--All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag the Anthem.

--Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.

--A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

--Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

--The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

“All 32 clubs want to make sure that during the moment of the anthem and the flag that that is a very important moment to all of us, as a league, as clubs, personally to our country,” Goodell said at a press conference in Atlanta. “And that’s a moment we want to make sure is done in a very respectful fashion.”

But York told a group of reporters the 49ers abstained from the vote. Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports was first to report York’s revelation. York has publicly supported the rights of 49ers players to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully.

“I think there are a lot of reasons, and I’m not going to get into all of those reasons. But I think the gist of it is really that we want to make sure that everything that we’re doing is to promote progress. And I think we’ve done a good piece of that so far,” York said, as reported by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

The 49ers have been at the center of the movement to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid began kneeling at the start of the 2016 season. Kaepernick did not play in the league last year, but Reid continued kneeling, along with teammates Eli Harold, Marquise Goodwin and others. Reid has remained unsigned as an unrestricted free agent.

The NFL Players Association fired back at the NFL policy, stating the players have demonstrated their patriotism, in part, "through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about."

Why the NFL doesn't need San Francisco (or Santa Clara) for the Super Bowl

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AP

Why the NFL doesn't need San Francisco (or Santa Clara) for the Super Bowl

It’s now been three years since we congratulated ourselves about hosting Super Bowl L, it’s now going to be at least six years until it comes back, and the smartest money says that it won’t be back until the 49ers build a new new stadium to replace their old new stadium.
 
This was the argument one humble typist (well, me) made at the time to must finger-wagging and shame-on-you-ing, and the obvious evidence is bearing that out.
 
The San FranClara Super Bowl was clearly a one-off eased into the momentary vacuum of suitable West Coast Super Bowl sites. And now, as we re-survey the landscape, the West Coast is lousy with Super Bowl sites. So, unless the Raiders move again, Las Vegas is a disaster, or the cost overruns in Los Angeles start to rival the space program, the NFL doesn’t need San Francisco at all. Or for that matter, particularly want it.
 
Barring massive glitches, Las Vegas will be an automatic Super Bowl rotation regular, and the same for Los Angeles. Arizona has a growing amount of history on its side as a preferred place to hold a corporate bacchanal, New Orleans is everyone’s ideal of the perfect place for said bacchanal, plus there’s Dallas, plus there’s Atlanta and/or Miami, plus there is the next new stadium game to be played in other cities.
 
And, we should mention this, Jed York is not a power broker among the owners. He is too young, not rich enough (relatively speaking, of course), and is also considered by the powerful and hardliners among the owners having been too conciliatory on the Great Kaepernick AgonyFest.
 
This last point matters because the owners have no earthly notion of what to do about social justice or what the league’s position should be on employee protest, but they are excellent at delegating blame. That’s why Kaepernick has no job, and why owners are being deposed, and why they are gathering at meetings to figure out ways to punish players without having the right to deport them. The other owners won’t say so publicly, and maybe not even to York personally, but they think to themselves that a stronger owner would have stopped the Kaepernick train before it got started.
 
This is not the main reason San Francisco won’t get the Super Bowl, though. It’s money, and there is more money to be made and fewer complications to endure in all those other venues. The Bay Area is the one thing it cannot stand being – insufficiently desirable to billionaires.
 
But that’s the landscape in the post-modern NFL – an aging and increasingly reactionary world in which the San Francisco geography, the Silicon Valley caricature, even Oakland’s dismissive rejection of the NFL’s take-it-and-leave-it offers viz. the Raiders all work against getting perks like a Super Bowl.
 
And the same almost certainly will prove to be true for the college football national championship as well. Santa Clara is getting this one, but when L.A.’s stadium is done and the NCAA comes to peace with the money fountains of Las Vegas, San Francisco will have seen the last of those as well.
 
This is not a tragedy, either, but the reality of a sporting landscape that no longer even tries to pretend that the business serves the games rather than the other way around. This is evolution, kids, and evolution wins every time . . . at least until the meteor hits and the best available Super Bowl site will be a tar pit.

Now on same team, Sherman, York unblock each other on Twitter

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AP

Now on same team, Sherman, York unblock each other on Twitter

ORLANDO, Fla. – After four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman negotiated and signed his three-year contract with the 49ers, there was another matter with the organization that had to be settled.

“We had to unblock each other on Twitter,” 49ers CEO Jed York said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings.

York declined to identify the specific interactions on social media that led to the mutual blockings, but he certainly was not alone among the 49ers and their fans who have been annoyed with Sherman’s antics in the past.

“There’s just a level of competition and that competitive spirit,” York said. “I’m happy to be fighting alongside him. But there was definitely a rivalry.

“At the end of the day, football is a business, but you have to figure out can you work with people who have different perspectives and difference histories. And with Richard, he’s going to come in and be the consummate pro.”

49ERS ON SAME PAGE – FOR A CHANGE
For much of the past decade, the 49ers have been unable to come up with a compatible tandem at the two most-important positions on the football side of the organization. At least through one year, it appears they got it right with coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

“I think everybody’s on the same page,” York said.

“It makes it easier when you start 0-9 and nobody’s pointing fingers at each other.”

The 49ers finally seem to have a well-defined plan in which the coaching staff and front office are working together. York referenced the team’s approach to free agency. In the past, the 49ers would list their positions of need with players ranked in order of priority -- with little regard to how the individuals actually fit the 49ers' style of either side of the ball. This year, Shanahan and Lynch came up with a small pool of players in which they were genuinely interested.

The 49ers signed Sherman before the start of free agency. He is considered the prototype cornerback for the system defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has installed. The scheme is based on Seattle’s defense.

Center Weston Richburg and running back Jerick McKinnon were the only two players the 49ers pursued at the start of free agency. Both players signed lucrative contracts with the 49ers.

“It started with the foundation of John and Kyle being on the same page on how we want to build our team and this is ultimately where we want to get to, and we want to get to sustainable success,” York said.

“The biggest thing for me – and it’s very, very hard to get this – but it’s a combination of talent and culture. When you see teams that have talented people and cultural fits, they are the ones that are competing for and winning championships.”

SHANAHAN’S BRUTAL HONESTY
York said he knew within the first five minutes of interviewing Shanahan more than a year ago for the head-coaching job last year that he would always get an honest answer. York asked Shanahan what he thought of the 49ers.

His answer: “It wasn’t very complimentary,” York said.

York added, “You can see how some people would take that the wrong way. For me, I just want direct feedback from the coach. You’re probably the most-important person in the organization. We have to be on the same page. I have to know exactly where you stand. I never doubt where Kyle stands.”

LIMIT ON EARLY STARTS VOTED DOWN
The 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers jointly submitted a proposed bylaw that would have limited the number of games West Coast teams could play at 10 a.m. on the West Coast to three per season.

The bylaw was voted down with little support from teams outside the Pacific time zone. TV officials did not support the move because of its expected limits on broadcasting options.

“It’s not going to be an excuse for us, but it’s a clear competitive disadvantage,” York said. “And we want to make sure people understand that.”

There were 23 such games last season in which West Coast teams played in the early Sunday time slot. The proposal would have limited it to a maximum of 18 times.

Shanahan had never coached a West Coast team before last season. He recognized the difficulty with the early starts last season. The 49ers played five away games that began at 10 a.m. in the Pacific time zone. The club changed its travel plans late in the season from Saturdays to Fridays for games at Houston and Chicago in hopes of benefitting from an extra day to get acclimated to the change of time zones.

The 49ers also proposed a resolution that would require all NFL stadiums to have three separate locker rooms for females of the home and visiting staffs, as well as game officials. York said there was unanimous support for the proposal but the voted was tabled to allow some teams that do not own their stadiums to iron out the details of the necessary construction costs.

The 49ers have two full-time female employees on the football side on game days: offensive assistant Katie Sowers and assistant athletic trainer Laura Schnettgoecke.

WORKING TOGETHER TO AVOID NEED TO PROTEST
The 49ers have been the epicenter of the protests of social inequality that began in 2016 on NFL sidelines during the national anthem. York said he expected more discussion of the topic at the owners meetings, which concluded Wednesday.

“It really wasn’t discussed and touched on in great detail,” York said. “I thought there would probably be more discussion. But there wasn’t much discussion in the last three days on that issue, where there’s been more discussion in the past.”

York said he believes there has been great progress with the NFL working with the Players Coalition with the possibility of more good things to emerge from the sides working closely together.

“You want to work proactively with the players and figure out how to do something together where there’s not a reason to protest,” York said. “We want progress.”

York said the NFL can use its money, influence and platform to team up with players who wish to affect positive change on social matters.

The biggest discussion point might have been the desire to increase player safety. The NFL passed a rule on Tuesday to penalize players who initiate contact by leading with their helmets.

"When you talk about taking the head out of the game, we definitely have to make sure the game is safer," York said. "It's easy for non-experts to say, 'You should do this; uou should do that.' But when coaches actually sit down and talk about it, it’s great to hear experts in any field get up there and speak eloquently about how to do it in the right way."