49ers suspend broadcaster Tim Ryan for comments about Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson

Dec 4, 2019 at 4:05 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have suspended the team's radio color analyst, Tim Ryan, for his comments about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. The report comes from Matthias Gafni and Lauren Hernández of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Update: The 49ers announced that Dennis Brown will replace Ryan for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

The comments weren't made during the radio broadcast of the game. They were made on Monday, during Ryan's weekly KNBR interview on the "Murph and Mac" show. The segment has since been removed from the radio station's list of available podcasts, which gathers clips, like Ryan's segment, online and makes them available for later listening.

"The San Francisco 49ers have suspended Tim Ryan, their radio color-analyst, over comments he made on a Bay Area sports talk radio Monday in which he said Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is black, is exceptional at faking handoffs because of his 'dark skin with a dark football,'" wrote Gafni and Hernández.

While no longer available online, the San Francisco Chronicle did post the audio from the segment within the new story itself.

"He's really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing," Ryan said during the interview. "I mean, you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point, and if you're a half step slow on him in terms of your vision forget about it, he's out of the gate."

Ryan apologized for the comments via a statement.

"I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game," the broadcaster said. "Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player, and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended."

The 49ers issued a statement of their own, saying that they are disappointed in Ryan's comment and confirming that the broadcaster has been suspended for this weekend's matchup between San Francisco and the New Orleans Saints.

"We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words," the 49ers told The Chronicle. "Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.

"We have reached out to the Baltimore Ravens organization to extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly."

Ryan, 52, has been the 49ers' color analyst for radio broadcasts since leaving FOX in January of 2014. He teamed up with new 49ers play-by-play announcer Greg Papa this year. Ryan played for the Chicago Bears from 1990 through 1993.

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