49ers suspend announcer for saying Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s skin tone gives him edge

(San Jose) Mercury News (TNS)
Lamar Jackson

BRADENTON, Fla. – The San Francisco 49ers suspended radio announcer Tim Ryan for Sunday’s game at New Orleans, after he said on a KNBR radio show that Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson’s dark skin gives him an advantage on the playing field.

Ryan’s comments came during his weekly appearance on the “Murph and Mac” morning show, when he was describing Jackson’s ability in faking handoffs in last Sunday’s 20-17 win over the 49ers.

“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 in breaking down the 49ers’ loss to the Ravens and MVP candidate Jackson, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ryan gave an apologetic statement through the team: “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.”

Ryan attended Wednesday’s practice here in Florida, and his suspension was announced shortly thereafter.

The 49ers are finalizing his replacement for Sunday’s broadcast, and it figures to be an alumni, such as former defensive lineman Dennis Brown.

The 49ers release the following statement announcing Ryan’s suspension:

“We are disappointed in Tim Ryan’s comments earlier this week, and have suspended him for the upcoming game. 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. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.

“We have reached out to the Baltimore Ravens organization to extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly.”

Ryan played defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears from 1990-1993. He has been the Niners’ radio color analyst since 2014. Prior to joining the 49ers, the South Bay native was an NFL game analyst on TV for Fox.