Lowell Cohn: Jed York should be answering questions about this 49ers mess

From left, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York, head coach Chip Kelly, and General Manager Trent Baalke pose for a photo after a media conference Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Jed York is the most-hated sports-team owner in Northern California. No one else comes even close.

I bring this up because Jed’s father, John, told reporters in Atlanta after the 49ers lost their 13th in a row, that he and his wife Denise — the parents of Jed — are not stripping him of his power, as has been reported. And the parents are not moving Jed out of football operations.

This, I suppose, was to reassure Jed. It’s terrible when your parents fire you, even when you deserve it. But are the fans supposed to feel reassured that Jed is sticking around? The dad, no football genius himself, just served notice on everyone that his management-inadequate son, only 36 years old, will be in charge making a mess of things for a long time to come.

Feeling reassured, Niners fans?

Happy for Jed, Niners fans?

I want to put this sad, bad news about the bumbler Jed into a context. Coach Chip Kelly held his weekly news conference on Monday. Chip stood in front of the media and heard us ask him questions about his own inadequacies. Why does the team keep losing? Is Chip doing a good job? Painful but fair questions.

And Chip stood up to them. But, really, Chip should not be up there week after week bobbing and weaving from incoming missiles, in spite of the fact he is a substandard coach. Jed should be the one standing there explaining himself, explaining what keeps going wrong year after year on his watch.

Jed is the architect of the mess. Jed alone. Jed hired Chip, who also is part of the mess. But Jed is responsible for the full catastrophe, and no one sees him or hears from him these days. Which may or may not mean he is a coward. You make the call.

It is Jed who kept Trent Baalke instead of Jim Harbaugh.

It is Jed who created an environment in which no credible coach wants the 49ers head-coaching job. Jed was reduced to hiring two men the league did not want — Jim Tomsula and Chip. Jed takes what he can get — the league’s leftovers.

It is Jed whose team has about $45 million in cap space but barely paid for credible free agents for this season. It is Jed who runs the team with the fifth-highest value in the NFL and it is Jed who did not spend. Some people call this being cheap.

It is Jed who does not care about winning. Doesn’t seem to care.

It is Jed who has given fans — The Faithful — the impression he’s OK with losing. Jed and his parents rake in the money. That’s all they seem to care about. They are filthy rich. Winning be damned. Jed makes season-ticket holders and PSL holders a bunch of suckers.

People used to make fun of Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, said he was the worst owner in the league. Wrong. Snyder used to be a bad owner — he’s improving — but he always wanted to win.

He spent money to win. He just didn’t know how to run a football operation. Jed is not even in Daniel Snyder’s class. That’s how disappointing Jed is.

Jed may hold an end-of-season news conference in a few weeks. Then again, he may not. He seems only to hold one when he makes a coaching change. No guarantee he’ll fire Chip, although he should fire Chip.

But, OK, let’s say he holds an end-of-season whoop-de-doo. This I guarantee. He will say, “Hold me accountable.”

He is good at saying hold him accountable. How disgusting. How in the world can anyone hold him accountable? When he says hold him accountable he is being insincere.

So let’s be precise here. For losing so much and being a horrible owner, people should feel contempt for Jed. But for being insincere, they should dislike him. Insincerity is beneath contempt. When he goes into the hold-me-accountable lie, he is being dishonest and insincere, and you should dislike him for it. And you should dislike him for carelessly debasing the 49ers brand.

You won’t be the only one who dislikes him.

The Santa Clara City Council dislikes him because council members believe he hasn’t played fair with them, hasn’t shared crucial revenue documents. It’s been in the news.

The Girl Scouts dislike him. He had scheduled a Girl Scout sleepover at Levi’s Stadium, then dumped the Girl Scouts when he could book a lucrative concert. After a hue and cry went up, Jed let the Girl Scouts back into Levi’s. What a guy. It’s been in the news.

The Santa Clara Youth Soccer League dislikes him for trying to pave over the kids’ soccer fields adjacent to Levi’s Stadium. After a hue and cry went up, Jed let the kids have their soccer fields. It’s been in the news.

His neighbors in Los Altos Hills dislike him. He wanted to build a swimming-pool cabana that would block their views. He failed in that attempt, as he fails in most things. It’s been in the news.

Who likes Jed York? I mean, really, who actually likes the guy?

He is, undisputed, the most-hated sports-team owner in Northern California, maybe in the world.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at