49ers CEO Jed York was the only of the league’s 32 owners to abstain from voting on the NFL’s new protest policy, which will penalize players and personnel who decide not to stand during the national anthem next season. According to reports, the other 31 owners unanimously voted in favor of the policy.
York explained his decision to do so on Wednesday, saying the 49ers are more concerned with making progress than banning protests, and that the team will close concession stands while the anthem is being played this season.
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) May 23, 2018
“I think for us, I wanted to make sure we focus on the progress aspect of this, not focus on the protest,” York said in the video above. “I believe our players have done a great job of trying to bring light to social justice issues. We’re focused on the reform aspect of it, and I think there’s so much more to it than just player standing, or a team employee standing.
“We want to take a broader approach of, for us personally, we’re going to close concession sales during the national anthem. I don’t think that we should profit during the national anthem if we’re going to ask people to be respectful. I think that’s something that we should do to be respectful, but again that’s the tip of the iceberg.
“We want to make sure we have an all encompassing solution to how we look at this, and not point the finger at one group or another, and really come together and have a great conversation with our players and figure out how do we do the right things for social justice reform, and do it in a way that we want to still bring attention to it, but do it in a way that it can be as dignified in our entire encompassing approach.”