Although it is the offseason, players of the San Francisco 49ers have been working hard in their training in order to get ready for the 2023 season. On Sunday, players had the opportunity to let loose and have some fun at the ballpark.
The 49ers player engagement group partnered with Shoe Palace to host a unifying event in which players could interact with officers of the San Jose Police Department in a friendly game of kickball to enhance police-community relations and continue to raise awareness around social justice.
"It's a great opportunity to come out, have some fun together, team build and also continue to spread the word about social justice," 49ers director of player engagement Austin Moss II said.
Over 20 players from San Francisco's roster took part in the contests against officers of the San Jose Police Department, including special guests such as 49ers legend Patrick Willis and Bay Area-native artists 24kGoldn, Bankrol Hayden, Karri, Nef the Pharaoh, Iamsu!, Stunnaman02 and Tyler Gordon.
The Faithful gathered at Excite Ballpark in San Jose to cheer on the 49ers in the friendly competition, in which all proceeds from the event benefitted the team's social justice grantee, the San Jose African American Community Service Agency.
"We are still identifying ways in which we can 'Inspire Change' and advocate for the voiceless," Moss II said. "Players from our Social Justice Committee like Arik Armstead, Trey Lance, Oren Burks and Taybor Pepper, along with several other teammates, are continuing to find ways to give back and this upcoming charity kickball event is a byproduct of that... We're extremely excited to give back, bond with our teammates and the SJPD."
The day started off with a home run derby, where 49ers players and SJPD officers went up to bat and swung to hit as many home runs as possible. San Jose Chief of Police Anthony Mata threw the honorary first pitch and three-time 49ers Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee Arik Armstead served as SF's team captain.
Then, the NFL players faced off against the officers for seven innings of kickball. Special guests in attendance pumped up the crowd with shoutouts between innings of play and each player and officer was highlighted with a walk-up song from DJ Alvin C and 49ers Amp Squad member, DJ Romeo. The 49ers won the charity kickball game 3-2.