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Jed York Just Doesn't Get It: The Disconnect of the San Francisco 49ers Owner

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 20:  The San Francisco 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam walks through the crowd during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on August 20, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 20: The San Francisco 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam walks through the crowd during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on August 20, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brendan O'HareContributor IAugust 23, 2011

Yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers myopic owner Jed York said a very stupid thing regarding the recent outbreaks of fan violence within his establishment. Here it is:

“I think when you have a preseason game, when you don’t have your regular-season ticket holders coming to a game, I think that plays a big factor into it,” York said. “I think that’s another reason why the NFL is looking at, you know, trying to revamp the preseason schedule.”

This sort of disconnect from the rest of society is really quite astounding. Not only is York oblivious to the socio-economic institutional racism he is conveying, but he also does not seem to be in any sort of discourse with anyone involved with the NFL. I am almost positive that fan-on-fan brutality is not a domineering reason when Roger Goodell thinks about altering the schedule. Goodell wants to fix the schedule for profiteering reasons, and is doing so at the expense of the players’ health (the players do not want a longer schedule).

Therefore, York is not only detached from the owners, but also the players. Playing off fan violence as a reason for advocating something the commissioner/owners want is an attempt at bringing the issue of fixing the schedule back into the limelight, even after an 18-week lockout decided that the schedule was going to remain the same. York does not care about the safety of the players or the fans. York believes that it would get rid of violence amongst the consumer, but doesn’t realize that it would increase injury amongst his employees.

Saying something as ridiculous and unbelievably discriminatory as this stems from York’s lack of knowledge about anything. He was a recipient of nepotism, as his uncle used to own the San Francisco 49ers. His story and rise to power are enough to enrage any believer in the “American Dream”. He milled around for a little while as a financial analyst, then was “rescued” by his family to be groomed as the patriarch of the 49ers. Keep in mind that before, York had no involvement with professional football and was now being whisked away into being the head of a million dollar business in a billion dollar industry.

York is disengaged from the three legs of the professional football business model. He does not know the reasoning behind the owners’ decisions. He is willing to risk his players’ well-being as long as he makes a profit. And he will publicly diss fans who indirectly pay his salary.

Saying that “you don’t have regular-season ticket holders in the stands” is a nice way of saying that dirty poor people are in the seats, and Candlestick Park isn’t gentrified enough for Jed York. Throw away the fact that they had to pay the same price as a regular-season game, because the NFL preseason concession model is so unbelievably flawed. Throw away the fact that any moron, not just the poverty-stricken groundlings, can get completely hammered and start throwing punches. The real problem here is that Jed York doesn’t care about the people watching the game and is willing to set aside a pressing public safety issue as an excuse to bring up tired arguments.

York probably has never sat in the stands of Candlestick Park during his fraudulent reign as 49er head, in fear of getting AIDS or cholera. He sees the fans as the subject of a Jacob Riis expose. York is isolated from normal human society. He doesn’t get it. His rise to the top was marred by the fact that his family paved the way for him, and he can’t relate to the regular fan. Or the players. Or somehow, even the owners, who are disconnected in their own ways.

Changing the NFL schedule isn’t going to curb the violence at Candlestick Park. But you know who isn’t going to curb the violence, despite his “best efforts”? Jed York. Shocker, I know.

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