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49ers suspend radio analyst Tim Ryan for Lamar Jackson comments

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BRADENTON, Fla. — The San Francisco 49ers suspended radio color analyst Tim Ryan on Wednesday after he said on a Bay Area radio station that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s dark skin helps him disguise a dark football when running fake handoffs in Baltimore’s zone-read heavy offense.

Ryan will not broadcast Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints while serving the suspension. The Niners released a statement on the matter Wednesday evening from Florida, where they are preparing to play the Saints at IMG Academy after losing 20-17 to the Ravens last week.

“We are disappointed in Tim Ryan’s comments earlier this week, and have suspended him for the upcoming game,” the statement said. “We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.”

Ryan made the comments early in an interview on the “Murph and Mac” show on KNBR radio in San Francisco on Wednesday morning when discussing Jackson’s success running the ball against the Niners. KNBR is the Niners’ radio partner and broadcasts all of the team’s games.

“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan said on air. “I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point.”

Jackson led Baltimore to the win against the Niners after rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and throwing for 105 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-23 passing. Much of that production in the running game came on the zone read plays that have become a staple of Baltimore’s offense with Jackson and offensive coordinator Greg Roman at the controls.

Jackson gained a career-high 70 yards on zone read runs, the most a quarterback has rushed for on those plays since Robert Griffin III in 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Ryan also issued a statement Wednesday, apologizing for his comments.

“I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game,” Ryan said in the statement. “Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.”

According to the team’s release, representatives from the Niners reached out to the Ravens, explained what happened, apologized for Ryan’s words and said “the matter is not being taken lightly.”

Ryan, who played in 58 games over four years as a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears in the early 1990s, has been the Niners’ color analyst since 2014 after spending 12 seasons in that same role for FOX television.

The 49ers have yet to determine who will replace Ryan on Sunday’s broadcast from New Orleans.

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Cowboys’ Dontari Poe likely to kneel, hopes Jerry Jones will express support for players

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Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Dontari Poe says he likely will kneel during the national anthem this season and he’s hoping owner Jerry Jones will end his silence on racial injustice and express his support for his players.

Poe, who signed with the Cowboys as a free agent this offseason, told Bleacher Report that he has not spoken with Jones. The Cowboys owner (and general manager) has not released a statement or spoken publicly since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has resulted in protests across the country.

“Haven’t talked to Jerry at all,” Poe told the website. “I hope he comes out and shows his support. … You are an owner of an NFL team — you get what I’m saying? The majority of this team are these people that are being oppressed. So even if you are not going to be in the forefront, we need to know we have your support in that type of way.”

Poe knelt during the national anthem while with the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 with the support of coach Dan Quinn. However, no Cowboys player has knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. Jones has been vocal that he won’t tolerate any of his players kneeling because he believes it is disrespectful to the American flag. He did, however, kneel with his team before the anthem and then linked arms with them during the anthem before a game in 2017.

Poe told Bleacher Report that he is “definitely leaning toward” kneeling this season and if he does, there should be no question why he is doing so, telling the website, “If you don’t understand it, then you just don’t want to know it.”

Last month, the Cowboys released a video on social media against racial injustice, but Jones did not appear in the video.

The Cowboys’ Gerald McCoy, who also was Poe’s teammate with the Carolina Panthers last season, also has called on Jones to break his silence. The defensive tackle made his comments in appearances last month on ESPN’s First Take and on NFL Live, when he said Jones’ comments “don’t look good.”

“His silence definitely means a lot because in any other situation [he] will have something to say about most things,” Poe told Bleacher Report. “I was once a proponent of doing stuff behind closed doors, and doing what I need to do not out in the forefront. … So hopefully he is doing that, but who knows what he is doing. … Personally, I would hope that he comes out and says, ‘OK, I am willing to help, I am willing to fight, and I am willing to be with y’all.'”

Several NFL players and some coaches, including the Houston Texans‘ Bill O’Brien have said they plan to kneel during the national anthem this season. Commissioner Roger Goodell also said in video last month that NFL has erred in how it has dealt with NFL player protests started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2017.

“What the league is trying to express is the same sentiment that everybody is expressing: that that was a protest on behalf of police brutality before, and we missed it,” New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis told Bleacher Report. “Everybody has to admit that.”

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Ravens’ Lamar Jackson to hold social event in Florida amid coronavirus concern

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BALTIMORE — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson announced he will hold his annual “Funday with LJ” event in Florida amid the state’s spike in coronavirus cases.

Jackson’s third annual event will be held Saturday and Sunday in his hometown of Pompano Beach, Florida, according to a flyer shared on his Instagram page Monday. Social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people is currently not allowed in Pompano Beach, according to the city’s website.

The flyer, which says “come have some fun in the sun,” advertises flag football, and water slides among other activities. It also says adults must wear face masks, and a waiver must be signed for children to participate.

The announcement for the event comes more than a week after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news conference that interactions among young people are driving the surge in confirmed cases.

In Broward County, where the event is scheduled to be held, there are more than 21,000 positive coronavirus cases and about 400 people have died from the virus, according to Florida’s Health department.

There are more than 200,000 coronavirus cases in the state, and about 3,800 Florida residents have died from the novel coronavirus, according to Florida’s Health department.



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Eagles’ DeSean Jackson says he doesn’t hate Jewish community after posting anti-Semitic messages

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson says he has no hatred toward the Jewish community after posting anti-Semitic messages on social media that he attributed to Adolf Hitler and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Monday.

On his Instagram story feed, Jackson featured a quote that he attributed to Hitler which said “[white Jews] will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”

He also shared two posts on Instagram — on Saturday and on Monday — expressing admiration for Farrakhan, who has been identified as anti-Semitic.

After receiving criticism on social media, Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, said the posts were taken “the wrong way.”

“Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way,” he posted on Instagram story along with the highlighted passage that was attributed toward Hitler. “I have no hatred in my heart toward no one!! Equality. Equality [raised fist emojis].”

The Eagles, who signed Jackson to a three-year deal in March for his second stint with the team, have not yet commented on the posts.



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