Nevius: Pro sports owners come a lot worse than 49ers' Jed York

San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)


Forty-Niners fans, you’re probably not going to like this. But hear me out.

It is time to lay off Jed York.

Right. I know. Flogging the 49ers owner has become a Bay Area ritual. He’s ruined the team, wrecked the fan base and he’s losing his hair.

But you have to admit it sounded pretty sweet last week to hear the words “blockbuster trade” and “the 49ers” in the same sentence. Acquiring QB Jimmy Garoppolo in this meltdown season is a minor miracle.

(Now, for God’s sake, do something with that tissue-paper offensive line so he isn’t besieged and damaged. Two words: Andrew Luck.)

Has York done a good job? God no. He dumped Super Bowl coach Jim Harbaugh because hyper-Jimmy drove everybody nuts. There’s a long line of folks Harbaugh has sent around the bend, but he was winning.

Hiring poor Jim Tomsula — whose eyes screamed “Help Me!” at every press conference — was a disaster. His 5-11 record would look pretty good right now, but still … disaster.

York stuck way too long with cyborg general manager Trent Baalke, whose talent evaluations put the team in this hole. Bad case of misplaced loyalty by York.

Has he paid for those sins? Oh yeah. When you get airplanes flying banners over your stadium demanding your departure, you’ve officially hacked off the ticket base.

But say this — York is trying. He’s still paying off the contracts of some of those guys. Were any of us excited about Year Two of the Chip Kelly experience? I don’t think so. Still, York could have muddled along with him.

Instead, he cut the cord and came up with the happiness boys — general manager John Lynch and play-caller Kyle Shanahan. Say what you will, York is making the effort.

You know who isn’t making an effort? The Oakland A’s. Their — oh, what the hell — ownership of Lou Wolff (who just cashed out) and John Fisher has milked this money cow for years. Good players? Sure, we have some; what are you offering?

As a Sports Illustrated story notes, since the A’s last made the playoffs in 2014, the team has shipped out: Jeff Samardzija, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist, Drew Pomeranz, Brett Lawrie, Rich Hill, Josh Reddick, Sean Doolittle and Sonny Gray.

That’s bad ownership.

Let’s talk social consciousness. When Colin Kaepernick knelt for the national anthem, York supported him without hesitation. He even matched a $1 million Kaepernick donation to a charity.

And he’s still on the right side of this.

“The most important partner that we have is our players,” York said. “The more you sit down with our players, to hear what they’re about and what they are fighting for, it’s really, really hard to disagree with them.”

Compare and contrast that with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair of the “can’t have the inmates running the prison” comments.

His players nearly mutinied. That’s offensive on so many levels it is hard to pick one. But we can say this:

That’s bad ownership.

Consider the godfather of NFL owners, Dallas’ Jerry Jones. He caved in to the demands of his buddy, President Donald Trump, and demanded that his players stand for the anthem. That helped exacerbate the controversy and divide the country.

But when a moral stand hurts his team, Jones isn’t so principled. His bluster about running back Ezekiel Elliott is shameful.

The league conducted an extensive look into Elliott’s “multiple instances of physical violence” against his girlfriend, including photographic and medical evidence.

A panel, including a former attorney general for the state of New Jersey and former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, found convincing evidence of abuse.

The NFL imposed a six-game suspension. The Cowboys and Elliott continue to fight the suspension in court, and he will play today. But he and Jones are postponing the inevitable.

Ridiculous, Jones said.

“Zeke has, in no way, by any standard in this country, done anything wrong,” he said.

Not a good time to be on the wrong side of sexual-assault charges, Jerry.

That’s bad ownership.

And finally, there is Levi’s Stadium.

Is it overpriced? It is. Has that contributed to deteriorating the loyal fan base? It has.

Oh, and it is also too sunny and hot.

York can take the hit for the high prices, but are you arguing the team should have stayed at the haunted house that was Candlestick Park? York got a new stadium, the Bay Area hosted a Super Bowl, and there will be more SBs to come.

You know who has a lousy stadium? The Oakland Raiders. But no worries. In two — maybe three — years they’re shipping out for Las Vegas. Which is not to be confused with their earlier move, when they jilted loyal Raider Nation for Los Angeles.

King Joffrey — whoops, I mean owner Mark Davis — says he’s sorry to take the money and leave but … Actually, that’s all he says. Sorry. See ya.

That’s bad ownership.

And finally, for those of you who are shocked to learn that the sun shines frequently in Santa Clara, we have a suggestion.

It comes from 81,000 Packers fans in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who sell out every game at Lambeau Field. Because the temperature is often below zero, they are wearing snowmobile parkas. Sometimes they have to shovel snow off the seats.

“Awwwww, is it too sunny at 49ers’ games?” they say. “Buy a hat.”

Contact C.W. Nevius at Twitter: @cwnevius.