The San Francisco 49ers have suspended radio analyst Tim Ryan for one game following his comment that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has an advantage in faking handoffs because of his “dark skin color with a dark football.”
Hes 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 San Francisco radio station KNBRs Murph & Mac Show” on Monday.
I mean, you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point and if youre a half step slow on him in terms of your vision, forget about it, hes out of the gate,” Ryan continued about Sunday’s game in which the Ravens beat the 49ers, 20-17.
Jackson rushed for 101 yards in the game and so far this season has rushed for 977 yards. He is close to beating the NFL single-season rushing record by a quarterback, now held by Michael Vick, who ran for 1,039 yards in 2006.
Some on social media slammed Ryan’s comments as racist, while others contended they were simply “dumb.”
Tim Ryan said something dumb. I cant say Im offended or even support his suspension. Just dumb. Zero impact on me or the world, really. Just really dumb.
Full Dissident (@hbryant42) December 5, 2019
The 49ers said in a statement that Ryan would be suspended for the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
We are disappointed in Tim Ryans comments earlier this week, and have suspended him for the upcoming game, the team said. We have reached out to the Baltimore Ravens organization to extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly.
We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words,” the statement added. “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.”
In a statement released through the team, Ryan apologized.
I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game,” he said. “Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.
Ryan, a former player for the Chicago Bears, has been a radio announcer for the 49ers for six seasons and prior to that was a TV analyst on Fox.
Rev. Jethroe Moore II, president of NAACP Silicon Valley-San Jose, said he would like to meet with Ryan before he returns from suspension.
“Part of his coming back should be coming to meet with members of the African American community for better understanding of how those words can be hurtful,” Moore said, according to NBC Bay Area. “That includes the 49er players and actually letting them talk about how they feel about the comments.”