Prominent 49ers Players Back Radio Analyst Tim Ryan Despite Comments
Two of the 49ers' "most prominent African American players came out in strong support" of team radio analyst Tim Ryan on Thursday, one day after he was "suspended for one game" for comments made about Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and his skin color, according to Eric Branch of the S.F. CHRONICLE. 49ers CB Richard Sherman and DE Dee Ford were among the players who said that they "didn't take Ryan's comments as malicious or racist." Sherman said, "It's a play where he's talking football and he could have used better verbiage. But I don't think anybody in this locker room has taken it offensively. He's apologized. And we know his character." Ford added, "We know what he was trying to say. It's just the era we live in. It's just messed up. But internally, we've got his back." Sherman also said Ryan's comments were "technically a valid point." Sherman: "But you can always phrase things better. You can always phrase things and not say 'his black skin.'" Ryan's suspension was addressed on KNBR-AM's "Murph and Mac" show, on which Ryan has been a frequent guest. Co-host Paul McCaffrey said, "I don't think Tim Ryan is a hateful person. I don't think Tim Ryan is a racist. I do think, however, what he said, it's not OK." Ryan's on-air partner, play-by-play man Greg Papa, said Ryan's comment "speaks to the detail very few analysts would even notice what he was talking about," but it was "too much detail" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/6).