49ers' Richard Sherman: Tim Ryan's Comments on Lamar Jackson Weren't Offensive

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2019

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens and cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers talk during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said Thursday he wasn't offended by comments Niners radio analyst Tim Ryan made about the skin color of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson making defensive reads more difficult during the teams' Week 13 game. 

Ryan, who's white, explained during an appearance on KNBR radio Monday he felt the 49ers defense was slow to react because they couldn't decipher whether Jackson handed the ball off in part because he's black.

"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," Ryan said. "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."

Ryan received a one-game suspension from the 49ers for his remarks.

Sherman said he wasn't as "outraged as everybody else" about the comments and believes the team's radio analyst had a "great point," per Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee:

"I understand how it can be taken under a certain context and be offensive to some. But if you're saying, 'Hey, this is a brown ball, they're wearing dark colors, and he has brown arms,' honestly, we were having trouble seeing it on film. He's making the play fake and sometimes he's swinging his arm really fast. And you're like, 'Okay, does he have the ball on that play?' And you look up and (Mark) Ingram's running it.

"So it was technically a valid point, you can always phrase things better. You can always phrase things and not say, 'his black skin,' you know?"

Sherman added it's "one of those things where he could have used better words but it may have been made bigger than what it really was."

"I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game," Ryan said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended."

Ryan will miss Sunday's road game against the New Orleans Saints and be eligible to return for the 49ers' Week 15 home clash with the Atlanta Falcons.