Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



Jed York can look back and laugh about his past mistakes -- even joke about them. The San Francisco 49ers CEO, who has made himself very available to national and local media this week, joined the "Tolbert & Lund" show on KNBR Thursday night and discussed a myriad of topics.

During the lengthy conversation, York was asked if the national anthem protests and the controversy surrounding them have hurt the 49ers' bottom line. Have fans reached out and voiced their displeasure about the protests? His response was very honest and humorous.

"We certainly heard some of that from people but I'll say, in full honesty, our bottom line has been hurt much more by bad coaching hires and decisions by me than anything that has happened here," York said.

Yes, York himself brought up his poor decisions in recent years without even being asked anything about the topic. He went on to answer the question before further discussing the coaching decisions. York understands that fans want to get past the protests and focus on football again but the league has an opportunity to make a difference.

"Honestly, I think once you start hearing the real message from the players, I think a lot of people get it and understand it," York said. "But I think everybody understands that we look to football, we look to Sundays for three hours of escape from everything else and I respect where those fans are coming from and that they just want to get back to ball. I think a lot of people want to get back to ball but there's so much time and so much opportunity to do things outside of Sundays where we can truly make a difference and I think we'll get there."

Back to the topic of York's previous coaching hires, the team CEO went on to describe what he learned from his poor decisions in recent years. He fired a very successful head coach in Jim Harbaugh and then proceeded to hire two replacements in as many years before finally landing on Kyle Shanahan in February. York was also open and honest about the two coaching hires that preceded Shanahan.

"I think I could write a multi-volume library," York said. "I'm not sure how much time we have -- if we have the entire show. I think the biggest thing is you have to be on the same page with your coach and GM and it's not just about winning games but it's about how you do it, how you want to build your entire franchise.

"And any time you look at Jimmy [Tomsula], he's a great guy. He did a lot of great things for us as a defensive line coach. I think it was the opposite personality as Jim Harbaugh and it's easy to sort of make that jump and say, 'Ok, we want to hire this guy because he's different than the last guy that it was difficult, at times, to get along with. You can have tension in the building with players, with the general manager, so let's hire Jimmy T.' And it didn't work.

"You look at Chip (Kelly). I think Chip is a phenomenal football coach. I think it would have probably been better if he would have sat out a year before coming right back into it. But I think Chip's going to get right back into it whether it's college or the NFL and I think that's where, when you actually take a step back and say alright, 'I don't look at what are we going to do this season.'

"I'd love to win this season but I want to get back to competing for championships and if you're going to compete for championships, you have to start with the foundation and you have to start with being on the same page. And I think that's where Kyle and I hit it off so well. What I believe a football team should be about, Kyle believes the same things. He grew up that way.

"John Lynch is such an awesome person. Unbelievable player on the field. He's somebody that you trust. He's somebody that goes to work every day but he takes input from people and that's the biggest thing. If you don't have collaboration, it doesn't matter how much talent you have, you cannot win at the level that we want to win at."

You can listen to the entire 23-minute interview with York below.