On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers took to the field in Florida to play football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would be an eventual Niners loss for a team that has undoubtedly had a rough season thus far, but they’ve shown that their presence in Northern California can be so much more than wins and losses.
The Niners coaching staff donned CAL FIRE hats during the game, showing their solidarity with the firefighters who fought through the most devastating wildfire season in recorded history. Ironically on the same day, California’s most deadly and destructive fire ever was announced to be fully contained.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 25, 2018
Not only did the coaches wear the hats during the game, but GM John Lynch wore it as well and players donned the hat pregame:
49ers repping Cal Fire during pregame warmups 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ocvKxNRWLO
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) November 25, 2018
It was a bittersweet Sunday, where rejoices of the finality of the Camp Fire were small as recovery efforts still search for the hundreds of missing people in the Paradise area. But the premiere football team in Northern California (sorry, Raiders) showed why they mean so much to the people in NorCal.
This wasn’t the first time the Niners showed support for wildfire victims this season. The team brought in the Paradise High School football team in the midst of the Camp Fire to be honored on Monday Night Football.
— Daniel Brown (@BrownieAthletic) November 13, 2018
On that occasion, the team was met with VIP treatment and greeted by Niners General Manager John Lynch. They were also brought out to the field to spend the National Anthem with the players.
Not only are the Niners showing their support to the NorCal victims, they have a personal connection to the Camp Fire.
Shane Wallen, a 49er strength and conditioning coach, grew up in Paradise and his father lost his Magalia home during the fire. He has since started a GoFundMe fundraiser for the victims, which has since raised $20,000.