Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals revealed he was the target of racial slurs from an NFL fan after a game against the San Francisco 49ers

By Jason Duaine Hahn
September 16, 2020 03:46 PM
Christian Petersen/Getty

The San Francisco 49ers are speaking out against a fan who allegedly sent racist messages to Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker over social media.

On Monday, 24-year-old Baker posted a screenshot to Twitter showing a series of offensive messages (warning: NSFW) sent to him from an anonymous 49ers fan account on Instagram. The texts include racial slurs, references to slavery, and accused Baker of attempting to injure 49ers player George Kittle during the Cardinals 24-20 win over the San Francisco team on Sunday.

"I'm all good with opposing fans talking trash but this right here man," Baker said of the messages. "All you can do is pray for people like this."

Many 49ers fans expressed outrage at the comments on Twitter, sending encouragement and support to Baker. The team also issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the messages and said they'd be taking steps to identify the fan and ban them from future events.

"The San Francisco 49ers unequivocally denounce the racist messages sent to Budda Baker," the team said on Twitter. "The individual who sent the messages does not represent the 49ers or the Faithful. Per team policy, we are working to identify this person and will ban them from all 49ers games and events."

"Incidents like this demonstrate how much work remains to be done to address racism and hate in our society. We remain steadfast in our commitment to that work," the statement continued.

Budda Baker
Christian Petersen/Getty

Jed York, CEO of the 49ers, responded to the messages sent by the account, saying incidents like the one Budda experienced happen "far too often."

"Permitting these individuals to go unchecked allows racism and hate to spread," York wrote. "I urge other teams in the world of sport to consider our policy of banning those who seek to tear others down with racial slurs and threats of violence."

Kittle suffered a knee sprain from Budda's tackle on Sunday, which occurred late in the first half of the game, NBC Sports reported. While Kittle returned for the second half, he is questionable for the 49ers' next game against the New York Jets.

Racism has been at the forefront of nationwide conversations in the months since George Floyd's death in May, and many athletes and sports executives have spoken out about their experiences. In July, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson recalled a racist incident he experienced at a California restaurant shortly after he won the Super Bowl in 2014.

While waiting in line, Wilson said a white man told him, "That's not for you."

RELATED VIDEO: Meet 5 Inspiring People Charting the Path Forward as America Fights Racism

"And I said, 'Excuse me?' I thought he was joking at first," Wilson recalled, according to ESPN. "My back was kind of turned. I had just come off a Super Bowl and everything else, so if somebody is talking to me that way, you think about [a different] circumstance and how people talk to you."

"In that moment," he continued, "I really went back to being young and not putting my hands in my pocket and that experience. That was a heavy moment for me right there. I was like, 'Man, this is really still real, and I'm on the West coast. This is really real right now.' That really pained my heart."