However the San Francisco 49ers‘ players decide to use their voice, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo says the team is trying to do it as a unit.
As he enters his seventh season in the NFL, Garoppolo is now an outright leader and important piece for the 49ers. That not only means execution on the field, but it also means contributing to his teammates off of it.
As nationwide protests continue weeks over police brutality and racial injustice, several San Francisco players have made their voices heard, along with 49ers CEO Jed York announcing a $1 million commitment to social change organizations.
Talking to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, Garoppolo explained his perspective and his desire to work with his teammates to make change and speak together.
“I haven’t had many of those experiences,” Garoppolo said. “But I think learning and hearing from other people — teammates, especially — people that you have a personal relationship with. When you talk about that with people, it hits deeper and has more of a meaning behind it… And I think that’s a huge part of it.”
Garoppolo and the 49ers are coming off a trip to Super Bowl LIV after the quarterback totaled 3978 yards and 27 touchdowns in the 2019 regular season.
Jimmy G on Acting as a Team
The 49ers quarterback expanded on what the dialogue that San Francisco players have had, saying that what he and fellow players do is just as important as having the conversation in the first place.
“We’re approaching it as a team, instead of just doing it as individuals,” Garoppolo said. “I really like it. It’s crazy what’s going on in the world right now. And I think it’s really about people learning and educating themselves on everything that’s going on. Because once that happens, then the process can really begin. And so we’ve been talking about it, and a lot of guys have some ideas we’ve thrown around. Hopefully, we’ll finalize it (soon).”
Throughout the offseason, players like fullback Kyle Juszczyk have defended Garoppolo from the on-field criticism, so it only makes sense that Jimmy G is now standing up with his teammates to act as a team.
Garoppolo’s Words Come After Richard Sherman’s
Players like cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive tackle Arik Armstead and other San Francisco stars have been vocal as protests erupted across the country, with Sherman speaking on several different aspects of the conversation.
However, when talking to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer a couple weeks back, Sherman complimented the NFL’s white quarterbacks, which include some of the league’s biggest stars, for using their platform to enact change.
“I’m impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people,” Sherman said to Breer. “Which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete’s perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently. So it’s awesome that more people are speaking out, because in sports, you really have a love and appreciation for your fellow man, regardless of race.”
While Garoppolo had not spoken until Monday, Barrows reported that the 49ers quarterback has been vocal in the conversation as the team decides how to act ahead and during the 2020 NFL season.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.