Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

‘We’re going to do more’: John Lynch discusses 49ers’ social injustice initiatives

Jun 23, 2020 at 7:06 PM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and his family watched in disgust, horror, and sadness as reports came in about the death of George Floyd, which led to nationwide protests and greater awareness surrounding the issues of social injustice and systematic discrimination.

"It was terrible. It was so graphic," Lynch told Greg Papa this week during the 49ers' virtual State of the Franchise event. "I've got chills right now, talking about it."

CEO Jed York announced in May that the team is donating $1 million to organizations striving to create real change. That's in addition to the $1 million the team donated toward the cause in 2016.

"I think our ownership, I'm so proud of them," Lynch said. "They stepped up as they always did. But I think the thing that they know is that if all they do is give $1 million ... for social justice issues, and the action is not there to follow it up, it won't be effective."

Lynch knows that actions speak louder than words. That's why he and the 49ers' brain trust reached out to the team, let the players know they are loved, and encouraged conversation. The team is having conversations about how it can help create change.

"Our players have some ideas on some of the things they're going to do," Lynch added. "... I think there's some exciting things coming down the pipeline."

Those internal conversations will continue. The 49ers have put together a leadership council to share ideas and plan for the future.

"I think that's what we need to do as a country, as a culture, is listen, and talk, and have uncomfortable conversations," Lynch said. "We've done that. I will say, about football, I'm so proud of our coach, [Kyle Shanahan], when he talked about it passionately, because for everything right about our game, there's a lot that's still wrong.

"The fact that, in my role (of general manager), there's two people that are black, that have this role in a league that's 70 percent comprised of black players. That's not right. The same thing with head coaches; there's four. That's not right. We recognize that. It's time that we do something about that.

"We've always been proud of the measures we take at the 49ers to be inclusive, but we're going to do more. I'm going to do more. I'm committed to that."

Lynch added: "I have a lot of faith that some good change is going to come out of this."

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