01 Jun 2005
Oh, this is not going to turn out well. Last year after the 49ers were forced to undergo "diversity training," PR director Kirk Reynolds put together a video to help players learn how to interact with the city of San Francisco -- featuring racial humor, jabs at Mayor Gavin Newsom, a spoof of gay marriage, and a trio of topless blondes frolicking with Reynolds. Now there's scandal in the Bay Area and Reynolds is looking for another job. (The San Francisco essay in our book says that what the 49ers need most is a new public relations director, but this is not the reason I had in mind -- I was referring to the negative press about the 49ers and their use of stat analysis.)
It isn't the sexual humor that bothers me. I agree with cornerback Mike Rumph: "The locker room is like a fraternity. The outside world can't really judge that." Newsflash: Guys like topless babes and jokes about masturbation. And the article doesn't make it sound like the gay jokes included lisping, prancing stereotypes. But what's with the racial stuff? Jokes about Chinese accents -- that's just pathetic. I trust the new folks in charge in San Francisco are going to clear this nonsense out of the system. Thanks to reader Matt Meyer for the tip on this article.
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?