49ers to donate $1M to address social inequality

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The San Francisco 49ers announced Thursday that it will donate $1 million to improve racial and economic inequality while boosting collaboration between law enforcement and the residents they police.

Jed York, the 49ers CEO, said in a written statement that his team would partner with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation for the effort.

"We have chosen to work with these two organizations because they have proven track records of affecting change in the face of challenging problems and have the collective reach to make the greatest impact," York said in a written statement. "Silicon Valley Community Foundation is the largest community foundation in the world, managing $7.3 billion in assets and more than 1,800 philanthropic funds globally."

York said the team is excited to work with the two foundations to develop a plan to help "find unifying solutions to these pressing issues."

News of the gift comes as the team is continuing to manage fallout from Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem before the start of football games.

Kaepernick has been in the headlines ever since he sat during the national anthem during preseason games in August. Citing what he said was racial injustice, Kaepernick has said he wanted to call attention to minorities who were being treated unfairly by police.

After team practice Wednesday, Kaepernick spoke at length about the controversy.

"I continue to talk with and meet with different activists and different leaders in communities around the nation," he said. "I've had a lot of conversations with them about how to address this issue practically and with reasonable solutions that we feel can be implemented."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has also spoken out about the Kaepernick protest, telling the Associated Press that he doesn't "necessarily agree" with Kaepernick's action but recognized the quarterback's right to protest.

“I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society,” said Goodell. “On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.”

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