San Francisco 49ers ownership finally spoke out Wednesday on the state of the franchise.
It was not 49ers CEO Jed York who made public comments, but his father and the team's co-chairman John York, who spoke to a crowd of approximately 40 people as an honored guest at an NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter luncheon in Redwood City.
"This was not a good season. But you have my assurance that the ownership of the 49ers is very passionate about this team. And we are here to win,'' York said, as reported by Dan Brown of the Mercury News, who attended the luncheon.
Jed York, who is in charge of the day-to-day football operations, has not made any public comments since the beginning of the season. He recently told reporters he would answer questions at the conclusion of the season.
The 49ers enter the final three games with a 4-9 record and were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday with a lackluster 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
John York’s appearance was scheduled before Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler on Tuesday provided an opinion the Yorks could sell the 49ers. There has never been any indication the Yorks are willing to get out of NFL ownership – especially after succeeding in getting Levi’s Stadium built.
Before his prepared remarks, York paused for an impromptu comment about 2015, Brown reported.
"I will say this: Our family is extremely passionate about the 49ers,” York said. “All of us are disappointed in the season. It did not go the way we were hoping. You can blame it on whatever, but it doesn't make any difference ... We are very proud of the past, but we also look to the future. That's what we're going to need to do."
During his speech in the building that once served as the 49ers headquarters, York spoke about such former 49ers stars as John Brodie, Leo Nomellini and R.C. Owens, Brown reported. York also got emotional when speaking of the longtime friendship between Joe "The Jet" Perry and Wally Yonamine.
In 2007, the 49ers began honoring outstanding community achievements with the Perry/Yonamine Unity Award. Perry was the 49ers’ first African-American player, while Yonomine was the team’s first Asian player. York was honored on Wednesday at the luncheon for "re-energizing the 49ers alumni efforts," according to the report.