The San Francisco 49ers have been among the most active teams in the NFL when it comes to condemning racism, and that was only made evident on Tuesday when they announced they’d be taking action against one of their own fans who sent racist messages to Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker.
Baker took to Twitter on Monday to share screenshots of direct messages he received on Instagram from someone who harassed him with profanity-laced racial slurs (see here, viewer discretion advised).
The 49ers issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the person that sent the messages while subsequently making it clear that the person no longer is allowed at team games or events. San Francisco’s chief executive officer Jed York also responded with a short statement of his own.
The person who sent the messages to Baker was seemingly blaming him for George Kittle’s sprained left knee. Baker hit Kittle’s legs on a ball that sailed high by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second quarter of Arizona’s 24-20 win against San Francisco on Sunday.
After missing just a snap, Kittle returned and finished the game with four receptions for 44 yards and one carry for yards. The 26-year-old tight end defended Baker on Tuesday, posting a photo of himself and the Cardinals safety to Instagram.
While Kittle and Baker both have immense respect for one another, they’ve had a series of heated matchups over the past few seasons. Despite that, though, Kittle revealed that the two have enjoyed a friendly rivalry over the years. In fact, both texted each other when they received hefty contract extensions this summer. Kittle agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal while Baker signed a four-year, $59 million extension.
The 49ers don’t meet the Cardinals again until Week 16 at State Farm Stadium. At that point in the season, things may still be heated between the two sides depending on their records, and the 49ers certainly will be looking to avenge their Week 1 loss.
Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90