49ers to Donate $1 Million to Fight Systemic Racism

49ers owner Jed York wants to join the fight against systemic racism in the United States.
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49ers owner Jed York wants to join the fight against systemic racism in the United States.

On Saturday, York announced in a written statement that the 49ers will donate $1 million to support the fight.

“People throughout our country are hurting," York wrote. "Emotions are raw, and rightfully so. Heinous acts have been committed in recent weeks. Before we are able to realize impactful change, we must first have the courage and compassion as human beings to come together and acknowledge the problem: black men, women, children and other oppressed continue to be systematically discriminated against. The 49ers organization is committed to support the legislative priorities of the Players Coalition and to donating $1 million dollars to local and national organizations who are creating change.”

Riots have erupted in cities across America after a Minneapolis police officer named Derek Chauvin killed an unarmed African-American man named George Floyd. Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nine minutes while Floyd lay face down on the ground and suffocated.

Similar acts of police brutality in the past inspired former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to kneel during the National Anthem during the 2016 season. Kaepernick was one of the first NFL players to bring awareness to systemic racism, and he paid for it with is career. He hasn't played since 2016.

That season, the 49ers gave Kaepernick the Len Eshmont Award, which goes annually to the player "who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont."

Like York, Kaepernick has pledged to donate $1 million to organizations that fight systemic racism.