49ers

Q&A with 49ers president Jed York

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Q&A with 49ers president Jed York

Players and coaches may be gone for the bye week, but there is still work being done. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is away on a ten day scouting trip, and Jed York is currently focused on several community events.

The 49ers have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, and Wednesday, York helped kick off the annual Holiday food drive. I caught up with the team president and asked him a few questions about the team seven weeks into the season.

Mindi Bach: Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh were brought in to turn around this team. But did you expect the results theyve had just 6 games into the season?Jed York: I am not surprised with coach and Im not surprised with Trent being able to work well together and make sure they continue to make the team better. Thats what we talk about. Its coming to work every day and getting a little bit better each day. And I think thats what youre seeing with our team. Nobody is satisfied with where we are right now because we arent playing the best football that we can play. And thats what were trying to do, get better each and every day.
MB: Is there anything that you are able to take advantage of at this time and are working on given the bye week?JY: I think its good for the coaches and players to just get a little bit of time to sort of take a deep breath, relax, prepare for a short week in Baltimore thats coming up in a few weeks so they can get a little bit of extra preparation for that, but its really business as usual.MB: A lot of key players in this 5-1 record who are on one year contracts. Alex Smith, Dashon Goldson, Carlos Rogers; Ahmad Brooks is in final year of a 2 year deal When will you and Trent sit down and start addressing which of those players you will bring back?JY: Trent and Jim are talking about that now and will continue to assess that situation and figure out whos going to be a part of this moving forward. But were making sure were focusing on this year and just getting better one day at a time.MB: Do you expect some of those extensions to be done before the end of the regular season?
JY: You know there are guys that weve extended. Obviously Frank Gore is one of those guys that we extended, so its not out of the question. But thats something that Jim and Trent will discuss and figure out.
MB: The Bears and Bucs are playing in London this week. The NFL has agreed to play an annual game there for another five seasons. As your dad is the head of the leagues International Committee, will you request for the 49ers to return to play there in the near future? 49ers played the Broncos at Wembley Stadium last season.
JY: We had a great experience going to London. I wouldnt be surprised if we go back, but thats something that the league will work with all the different teams on, and obviously, its something that we enjoyed being over there and helped kick off a little bit of a mini winning streak last year. And I think thats a good thing for your team to be together like that in a different location. So I think its very good for the football operations to do things like that.
MB: But will you push for the 49ers to return to play in London?
JY: I think it depends on what Coach and Trent want to do and well have that discussion internally and figure out whats the best thing for the football team.
The 49ers are asking fans to please consider a donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank. There will be collection barrels at future home games, but a monetary donation is preferred. 1 buys two meals with the food the organization can buy in bulk. Last year Second Harvest fed 250,000 people.

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.