49ers Defensive Star Drops Statement on Jacob Blake Shooting

GETTY Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts to a sack in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California.

After a vocal offseason from many San Francisco 49ers players, the latest words come from a five-year veteran.

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead took to Twitter on Wednesday, speaking on the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Kenosha, Wisconsin man who was shot several times in the back during a dispute Sunday.

Praying for Jacob Blake. Aren’t we all tired of seeing unarmed black people shot by police ? Even if you are on the other side aren’t you tired of having to make justifications for it and deal with civil unrest?

Armstead was the 49ers’ first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, joining the team after an explosive career at Oregon. After a career-high 10 sacks in the 2019 campaign, San Francisco re-signed Armstead to a five-year, $85 million contract to lock up the star for the future.

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Armstead’s Previous Comments on Racism and Police Brutality

For anyone that follows Armstead’s social media or just the player in general, his statement on Jacob Blake comes as no surprise as the issue of police brutality has been an important one for Armstead.

Speaking on show Race in America earlier this summer, Armstead pleaded for people to understand what black Americans are going through after the deaths of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd and Louisville, Kentucky woman Breonna Taylor.

“Like, why do I have to continue — why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?” Armstead said. “… I’m on Instagram, and I just got to see another black person get killed unjustly.”

Armstead also spoke to Sactown Magazine about the issue, including saying that if fans don’t support or condemn what Armstead and other athletes are speaking on, they shouldn’t watch.

“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays,” Armstead said. “Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”

Richard Sherman’s Comments on George Floyd

One of the other most-vocal 49ers players about police brutality and race has been star corner Richard Sherman, who earned a second-team All-Pro nod last year after leading the San Francisco defense.

Shortly after George Floyd’s death, Sherman went to Twitter like Armstead to share his voice and express the anger and sadness he felt over seeing the Minneapolis, Minnesota man’s murder.

When will the response be justice? Racism has been around forever and too many excuses have been made for it. If you are sitting by watching it and judging the reaction you are part of the problem with what is going on because you allow yourself to overlook the cause.

Unarmed and Black is not a crime and should not be treated as such. I will not argue or engage in discussion with individuals who cannot understand that basic premise. Basic fairness and justice is all that has been asked for and it has not be given.

Sherman has not yet spoken on the shooting of Jacob Blake.

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Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.