The 49ers have suspended radio commentator Tim Ryan for saying on a radio show on Monday that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is good at at faking handoffs because of his “dark skin with a dark football.”
“We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately,” the 49ers said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. “We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.”
Ryan issued a statement saying, “I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game. Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.”
After calling the 49ers’ loss to the Ravens on Sunday, Ryan was asked in a radio appearance on Monday about what makes Jackson so hard to stop.
“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan said on air. “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.”
The 49ers said they reached out to the Ravens to apologize on behalf of the entire team.
The 52-year-old Ryan was a linebacker for the Bears from 1990 to 1993 and spent 11 years calling games on television for FOX before becoming the 49ers’ radio commentator in 2014.