49ers

Candlestick struck by two blackouts

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Candlestick struck by two blackouts

SAN FRANCISCO -- A pair of power outages struck Candlestick Park Monday night, causing delays for the 49ers and Steelers in their high-profile, nationally televised game.

The first snafu occurred 20 minutes before the scheduled 5:40 p.m. kickoff; the second hit at approximately 6:42 p.m. local time. In each case the stadium was thrown into total darkness.

According to Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Joe Molica, the stadium was the only customer in the area that lost power. He said the cause of the breakdowns was unknown. Later, the 49ers speculated that "offsite transformer problems" may have been the cause.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, asked after the 20-3 win about the scene in the locker room at the time of the first power failure, deadpanned "it was dark," prompting laughter from members of the media.

Following the pregame failure, the stadium returned to darkness with 12:13 remaining in the second quarter and the 49ers holding a 6-0 lead on a pair of David Akers field goals -- each following interceptions of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

RELATED: Blackout at Candlestick -- what they're saying on Twitter

During the delay, suspended Steelers linebacker James Harrison published the following message on his Twitter account of @jharrison9292:

"If I cant play then can't nobody play... Lights out!"

San Francisco team president Jed York published this tweet:

"Electric atmosphere tonight."

Players for both teams remained on the field and active, attempting to stay loose. The game resumed at approximately 6:59 p.m. During the delay, a fan ran on the field before being gang-tackled by security.

The initial power outage happened prior to the start of the highly anticipated inter-conference game and resulted in a 20-minute delay of kickoff. Power was cut at 5:19 p.m. and restored at 5:28.

Game announcer Mike Tirico termed it "an embarrassing night for the 49ers and the city of San Francisco" after the second occurrence.

The 49ers issued this statement late in the first quarter:
We have all resources working to find out what happened. As more information becomes available, we will issue an update. The game was delayed for 20 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. PT.

The team issued another statement at 7:51 p.m.:Right now, we believe the power outage occurred because of a blown transformer. We have all our available personnel working to confirm that. There are more questions than answers; we have asked PG & E to assure us and the NFL that this will not reoccur. We will continue to update you as we learn more.

Both teams were off the field for the first failure, in the locker rooms at the south end of the stadium. Through it all, a color guard stationed on the field as part of the National Anthem remained unflinchingly in place near the 50-yard-line.

Emergency lights brought back some visibility before power to the stadium was fully restored.

It's not the first time that Monday Night Football has dealt with delays due to power, nor the first time the Steelers were involved.

Other recent instances were last season in Week 1 (Ravens vs. Jets) with power failure as the culprit and Week 5 in 2010 (Vikings vs. Jets), due to lightning.

In 2007 the Week 12 contest between the Dolphins and Steelers was interrupted by lightning.

The most memorable interruption of a game at the venerable stadium came in October 1989, when the Lome Prieta earthquake struck moments before Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's.

That led to a 10-day interruption of the Fall Classic, in part to allow engineers to check the stadium's overall structural integrity.

Candlestick Park opened in 1960. The 49ers have played there since 1971.

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."

Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up."

Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple. The civil rights organization's interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, that it's apparently "no sheer coincidence" that Kaepernick isn't on a roster.

"No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech - to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL's own regulations," Johnson said.

The NAACP's state president in New York, Hazel Dukes, said: "Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African-Americans, only values black lives if they are wearing a football uniform."

Goodell has said the league isn't blackballing Kaepernick.

Some other players followed Kaepernick's actions last season, and some are doing so in this year's pre-season. On Monday, a group of Cleveland Browns players prayed in silent protest during the national anthem. Among those kneeling was a white player, Seth DeValve. Another white player, Britton Colquitt, did not kneel but kept his hand on the shoulder of a teammate who did.

That protest earned the ire of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, the lone Democrat holding an Ohio statewide office. Justice Bill O'Neill wrote on Facebook that he wouldn't attend any games at which "draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field."

"Shame on you all," he said.

49ers activate Jimmie Ward

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AP

49ers activate Jimmie Ward

SANTA CLARA -- Safety Jimmie Ward was cleared Wednesday morning to begin practicing with his teammates after missing nearly four weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury.

Ward underwent conditioning tests on Monday and Tuesday to complete the final hurdles before the club activated him off the physically unable to perform list.

Ward sustained a hamstring injury during the conditioning test on the eve of training camp.

Ward was moved to cornerback last season, where he started 10 games.

He finished the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He was the 49ers' primary nickel back in his first two NFL seasons.

Jaquiski Tartt originally took over at free safety at the beginning of camp. But after Tartt missed significant practice time with a ribs injury, undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome stepped in.

Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games at free safety.