Treat everyone equally. Everyone in society. That’s all Fred Warner is asking.
Warner’s voice has grown stronger, as has his ascending linebacker play and leadership, through two seasons as the 49ers’ leading tackler.
After this summer’s uprisings across America and the world, Warner is no longer hesitant to speak up on societal issues. He capped off Wednesday’s media session with reporters with this explanation why:
“I learn more and more every day when comes to my responsibility. This offseason was very eye-opening given what’s going on in our society with social injustice and inequalities among Blacks.
“In the past, I wasn’t really subject to that (discrimination) so I almost feel I couldn’t speak about it. Now I feel it doesn’t matter who you are, to have the platform we have as NFL players, you can reach so many different people.
“My mission has been to let people know you treat everyone equal. It doesn’t matter who you are. I’m trying to be more of a face of that.
“We have all the support of our management. The players are together in it.
“We’ll continue the conversation through the season. We’re not going to just go back to playing sports and have it go away. We’ll continue to talk about it and learn.”
Warner, 23, has become a driving force for the 49ers’ defense. The San Marcos native and former BYU star ranked No. 70 on the NFL Network’s Top-100 player list last month, and making that player-voted honor roll did not surprise him.
“I competed at a high level last year and my peers saw that,” Warner said. “It probably wasn’t reflected as much in the awards last year when it came to All-Pro and those type of things. But obviously we got to the Super Bowl and that’s all I care about, and continuing to become the best player I can be for this team so we can make it back to that game and get the outcome we want.”
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Author: Cam Inman