SAN FRANCISCO: The San Francisco 49ers are reaching out to local community groups to undo the damage from the exposure earlier this month of a media training tape that made liberal use of unflattering stereotypes.
?Management is letting the community know that this tape was an aberration that the team was not aware of,? said Sam Singer, president of Singer Associates, the 49ers agency.
A second tape also surfaced this week, this one made before the first but containing similar content. It, too, featured former PR director Kirk Reynolds.
The team is meeting with community groups from the gay and lesbian community, and the Asian community, to apologize and convey the ways the team is expanding its diversity training.
?There have also been numerous calls to other neighborhood and community leaders, to let them know this tape is not representative of the team?s beliefs,? said Singer.
The 49ers are working with the city?s Human Rights Commission to expand the team?s diversity training for both the players and management.
The team is also highlighting how it has been a leader in recognizing diversity and equal rights. For example, the 49ers were the first football team to offer domestic partner benefits, in 1997, said Singer.
?The team has a diversity program in place, but we?re saying to community groups that it?s not good enough, and we want to work with them to improve that diversity training,? said Singer. ?We want to take a black eye and turn it around.?
As for Reynolds, he announced he was resigning from the team in late May, before the controversy. The 49ers are now conducting a nationwide search for a new PR director.