Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo among 49ers’ most vocal players during Zoom calls discussing racism, social injustice

Jun 15, 2020 at 10:04 AM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took part in Blackout Tuesday by posting an all-black background on his Instagram account, showing support for those protesting against racism and social injustice. Other than that, the quarterback has been quiet on the topic. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise. It's not often Garoppolo attempts to grab any attention. It's not his style.

Things are different during the 49ers' Zoom video conference calls, though. Those discussions also include Arik Armstead, Dee Ford, Robbie Gould, Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle, Richard Sherman, Laken Tomlinson, Fred Warner, K'Waun Williams, and Trent Williams.

Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports that Garoppolo has been among the more vocal participants among team leadership as the 49ers figure out their response to the atrocities inflicted on the Black community across the country. It's a topic that the team takes very seriously, as evident by head coach Kyle Shanahan's passionate words during a recent video conference with reporters.

"It's gone on way too long," Shanahan said. "I think now, I think white people are listening more than I've ever heard before, which is good. That's a starting point because it's happened too long. It's very clear, and I don't want to debate it anymore. No one does. Open your eyes."

Barrows wrote the following:

"According to two people privy to those conversations, Garoppolo has been as vocal as any member of that group. Armstead also has been among the most outspoken in those sessions."

The 49ers beat writer asked Garoppolo on Friday, after a player-organized workout at San Jose State, why he felt compelled to speak up during those team discussions.

"I haven't had many of those experiences," Garoppolo responded. "But I think learning and hearing from other people — teammates, especially — people that you have a personal relationship with. When you talk about that with people, it hits deeper and has more of a meaning behind it. And I think that's a huge part of it."

The 49ers continue to try to figure out how the team can make a more significant impact and contribute to a solution rather than just create more awareness. Awareness, after all, is at an all-time high right now. Garoppolo feels that the team discussions are headed in the right direction.

"We're approaching it as a team, instead of just doing it as individuals," Garoppolo told Barrows. "I really like it. It's crazy what's going on in the world right now. And I think it's really about people learning and educating themselves on everything that's going on. Because once that happens, then the process can really begin. And so we've been talking about it, and a lot of guys have some ideas we've thrown around. Hopefully, we'll finalize it (soon)."

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