Amidst protests all over the country following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Jed York, the San Francisco 49ers chief executive officer, announced Saturday that the 49ers are donating $1 million to “local and national organizations who are creating change.”
York took to Twitter to address what has transpired in recent days and announce the organization’s donation.
“People throughout our country are hurting,” York said in the Twitter statement. “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 minorities continue to be systematically discriminated against.
“The 49ers organization is committing to support the legislative priorities of the Players Coalition and to donating $1 million dollars to local and national organizations who are creating change.”
— Jed York (@JedYork) May 31, 2020
Floyd, who is black, died Monday after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Floyd’s death has shaken the Minneapolis community and sparked protests in cities across the United States. Chauvin was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, local authorities announced.
Saturday’s announcement marks the second such known donation by the 49ers organization in the past four years to social justice causes. In September of 2016, the Niners matched the $1 million donation made by then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to Bay Area charities — the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation — that addressed social issues in collaboration with law enforcement.
Kaepernick spent the 2016 season protesting police brutality and systemic oppression of minorities in the country by kneeling during the national anthem before games. In addition to the protest, Kaepernick donated the first $1 million he earned that season to a variety of social justice charities across the country. He also donated proceeds from his jersey sales to similar causes.
York’s statement and donation made him the latest member of the NFL world to speak out after Floyd’s death. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement on Saturday after many players and coaches around the league did the same.