The San Francisco 49ers have suspended radio analyst Tim Ryan for one game for saying Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson was adept at carrying out fakes because of his "dark skin color with a dark football." Ryan made the comments Monday in an interview on the 49ers' flagship radio station KNBR when describing Jackson's ability to fake handoffs and keep the ball on runs that hurt San Francisco in a 20-17 loss to the Ravens last week.
"He's really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing," Ryan said on air. "I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point."
Ryan, a former defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, issued a statement of apology through the team Wednesday.
"I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game. Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended," he said.
The 49ers said in a statement that they are "disappointed" in Ryan and that he won't broadcast Sunday's game at New Orleans.
"We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words," the team said. "Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience."
Ryan played four seasons in the NFL with Chicago. He was a TV analyst on Fox for 11 years and has spent the past six seasons calling 49ers games on the radio.
The 49ers said they called the Ravens to "extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly," according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which first reported the suspension.