Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh congratulated former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. via Twitter on his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, which took place Saturday night.
Congrats to one of the all time greats in NFL history, Eddie DeBartolo. He understood what's important, The team & the people on it! #HOF— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) August 7, 2016
The last line of the tweet is somewhat interesting. "He understood what's important, The team & the people on it!" It could simply be a reference toward one of the qualities that made DeBartolo one of the most beloved and greatest owners – if not the greatest – in sports history. He knew that the people that he employed were important and treated them as family. It was a point that he made very apparent within his induction speech.
One could also see it as a very subtle jab at current ownership. The same ownership that parted ways with Harbaugh following the 2014 season despite his great success with the team and contributions to getting the team's new home, Levi's Stadium, in Santa Clara approved. Harbaugh has not been opposed to taking subtle jabs at his former employer.
We'll let you decide on the meaning behind the tweet.
Regardless, DeBartolo was beloved by all that knew him and his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was long overdue.
Current team CEO Jed York also shared his thoughts on DeBartolo's induction.
From Youngstown to San Francisco to Canton.... It's about time!!!!! #EddieDHoF— Jed York (@JedYork) August 7, 2016
As did current 49ers WR Torrey Smith, despite never having played for him.
Eddie DeBartolo seems like a great man— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) August 7, 2016
He was indeed ... and still is.