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An anti-Trent Baalke banner, scheduled to fly over Levi's Stadium prior to the San Francisco 49ers' game against the New Orleans Saints, has been grounded. The banner, completely funded by fans, called for the firing of the San Francisco 49ers general manager.
The following is an update from the GoFundMe page for the campaign.
Once again we'd like to thank everyone who has helped contribute to funding the banners that will fly over Levi stadium. Unfortunately our pilot is not available to fly this coming Sunday. After an extensive effort to identify an alternate company to fly our banner we came up empty handed. We are going to have to push back the dates for banner flights for home games on November 20th and December 11th.
Last season, anti-Jed York banners flying over Levi's Stadium were just one of the numerous expressions of criticism shown by San Francisco 49ers fans. Those criticisms were likely a big reason why head coach Jim Tomsula was fired at the end of the season.
A GoFundMe campaign raised the money to purchase today's grounded banner. It took less than a day to reach the $1,076 goal which covered the cost to have the banner fly over Levi's Stadium. Conor McGuire, Graham Grealish, and Mark Scannell were responsible for both campaigns.
News of the banner was first reported by beat writer Ryan Sakamoto of Niner Fans. Sakamoto was able to talk to McGuire about the latest effort. "McGuire told me that the York banner last year was more of making a statement rather than actually believing Jed would step down," Sakamoto wrote. "Baalke, however, is a different story, as he's on the hot seat and the seat gets hotter with every loss."
Prior to today, the GoFundMe page said the following about the campaign:
The 2016 season has already spiraled out of control. The 49ers are currently in the basement of the NFC with a 1-6 record. After a demoralizing week 7 loss to Tampa Bay this team is showing no signs of improving. The level of ineptitude that has been on full display every Sunday thus far can only be rectified with a total reexamination of the organizations interior. That reexamination needs to start at the top with the teams' general manager Trent Baalke. Trent has been provided ample opportunities to establish himself as a capable NFL GM. He has failed and it is time for him to go.
"I hear the criticism, loudly," team CEO Jed York said following last season and the firing of Tomsula. "Whether that's talking to fans directly, whether that's social media or from planes flying over my head."