49ers Join Law Enforcement to Advocate for Gun Control Legislation, Donate $500K

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2017

A san Francisco 49ers helmet sits in the bench area against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. The Panthers won 46-27.  (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Bob Leverone/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers announced Thursday they are pledging $500,000 toward supporting gun control legislation.

According to ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner, the Niners said they—along with local and national law enforcement—are signing a pledge for a "more understanding and safer America."

The legislation would ban mechanisms that can make a semi-automatic weapon an automatic weapon, in addition to silencers and armor-piercing bullets.

Per Robert Salonga of the Mercury News, a portion of the 49ers' donation will go toward nationally televised public service announcements meant to ease tension between law enforcement and those who fear police violence.

The 49ers and a coalition of police unions also released a joint statement regarding the partnership:

"The duty of law enforcement must also include actively participating in bringing our nation together and working to foster a more understanding and compassionate national dialogue around community and police officer relations. We believe that professional sports teams should utilize their capacity to reach millions of Americans to promote initiatives that help law enforcement professionals and the citizens they serve understand their respective experiences and to listen to one another with an open mind and heart."

The 49ers joining forces with local and national police is significant since police violence played a partial role in former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick protesting during the national anthem last season.

Last year, Kaepernick said, "I've been very clear from the beginning that I'm against systematic oppression," according to John Mullin of NBC Sports. "Police violence is just one of the symptoms of that oppression. For me that is something that needs to be addressed but it's not the whole issue."

Kaepernick's protest led to players across the NFL and other leagues demonstrating during the anthem. He parted ways with the Niners during the offseason and has yet to be signed by another NFL team.