The San Francisco 49ers suspended radio color analyst Tim Ryan on Wednesday for one game after he made insensitive remarks regarding Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Ryan appeared Monday during the “Murph & Mac” morning radio show on KNBR in San Francisco after the 49ers dropping a 20-17 contest to Baltimore on Sunday and stated that Jackson held an advantage regarding his ball fake ability because of his “dark skin” matching with a “dark football”:
“He’s 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. I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point and if you’re a half step slow on him in terms of your vision forget about it, he’s out of the gate.”
The 49ers issued a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle expressing their disappointment over Ryan’s choice of words:
“We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately,” 49ers officials said. “We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.”
Ryan, who is a former TV analyst for FOX and has been calling games on radio for the 49ers since 2014, apologized in a statement and stated that he had great respect for Jackson (which he expressed during the original radio spot).
A few things here…
- I’d hate to see what the 49ers would consider worthy of more than a one-game suspension.
- Ryan should be gone for a lot longer than one game. In fact, if someone used similar language on a national TV outlet, they would likely be fired in today’s climate.
- Media appearances are not easy for anybody. However, I can’t imagine what would go through Ryan’s head that would make him think this was acceptable language. His choice of words were extremely foolish and easy to interpret as racist.
- People overthink how to analyze Lamar Jackson more than any player in recent memory.
- If Jackson leads the Ravens to a Super Bowl win and earns MVP honors as well, he should get up on the podium and do a roll call of all the people who have wronged him.
We’ve got to do better than this folks. Using skin color as an added advantage for a football player is as loopy as it gets.