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49ers CEO Jed York: ‘We need to stamp out racism in our country’

Jun 1, 2020 at 12:14 PM--

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San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York over the weekend pledged $1 million to local and national organizations who are "creating change." On Monday, NFL Network aired a conversation he had with Jim Trotter discussing the decision to support the worthy cause of recognizing and combating social injustice.

Below is the statement York made over the weekend via Twitter.

"The statement, I think, was easy," York told Trotter on NFL Now. "Any time you see heinous acts, you have to be able to call them out. But in terms of the pledge, I think it's very important that actions and words need to go together if you're going to facilitate change in America, and that's what we wanted to do.

"We wanted to make sure that we were helping people that are on the front lines fighting racial inequality in this country do their work in a slightly better way today than what they could yesterday. And I think that's why we're trying to work with the Players Coalition and groups like that that are trying to build better relations between police officers and the communities that they serve, working on criminal justice reform and trying to advance educational and economic situations for minorities in this country; I think that's the step forward for us, right now, and I think that's what we need to focus on."

This isn't the first time the 49ers have donated money toward fighting social injustice. The team pledged $1 million in 2016 after former Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick now-famously started protesting against social injustice during the national anthem, and ignited conversation surrounding the issue.

York, however, feels the 49ers could have made their views more apparent back then, and are looking to do so now.

"I think we started some social justice work and using that term when Colin started his protests," York said. "I think we'd always been working in this area, but I think it was clear to label it social justice.

"I think the piece that we missed in 2016, and it's a fairly simple piece, I don't know that anybody actually addressed what the issue was, and we're trying to fight racism in this country. I think that's what we need to clearly call out, and you can't defeat something if you don't actually admit that that's what you're fighting."

Added York: "And if you don't say what the issue is, it's really, really hard to fight an enemy that's not named. You have to name that enemy, and it's racism. We need to stamp out racism in our country. And in order to do that, you have to help minorities and people that have been adversely affected for generations in this country, generally based off the color of your skin."

York says that it is the goal of the 49ers to use their brand to bring attention to these issues moving forward.

Click here to watch or read about the entire conversation with York during the segment on NFL Network.

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