After the bye, an anti-Baalke banner will fly over Levi’s Stadium

It all started with a few tweets. Wait, no, it started a year ago when a group of 49ers fans paid for three banners to be flown above Levi’s Stadium. Three banners Jed York surely wouldn’t like.



Another was more concise, reading “HOLD JED ACCOUNTABLE.” And during the last game of the year this one flew through the cloudy skies above the 49ers’ godforsaken albatross stadium.


The 49ers took notice these banners to the point where they tried to have them removed, according to

However, it appears that the 49ers (Levi’s Security) were not happy with the banner fly-over as they seemed to have contacted CHP (California Highway Patrol) to try and have the fly over stopped immediately for not having a valid permit.

CHP then contacted the San Jose International Air Traffic Control Tower, saying: “Levi’s security is requesting that one of the two banners appears to be not permitted, not advertising something that they want them to be advertising.”

The pilot flying the banner via Aerial Services immediately responded to CHP on the same frequency saying it was a ‘free speech issue.’

The San Jose International Air Traffic Control Tower then advised CHP to have Levi’s contact them directly saying: “CHP, best thing I could tell you is to have Levi’s contact us here directly.”

York referenced the banners at the beginning of his post-Jimmy-T press conference on Jan. 4:

“This season was frustrating on a number of levels. We took a step back from our ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. For that, I want to apologize to our fans and for everybody that cares deeply about this team the way I do. I hear the criticism, loudly. Whether that’s talking to fans directly, whether that’s social media or from planes flying over my head.”

I wondered aloud last week whether a banner might force the 49ers into a move I’ve been advocating for several weeks, firing Trent Baalke. But I assumed the team’s prolonged malaise had forced the vast majority of fans into a state of apathy overwhelming enough to prevent another banner movement from forming.

It took a few days, but one of the fans who commissioned the banners a year ago indicated that further flying signage could be forthcoming.

And he wasn’t lying.

Their mission is simple.

Goal: To fly a banner over Levi’s Stadium before the November 6th game against the New Orleans Saints calling for Trent Baalke to be fired.

Required: To fly the banner for two hours before the game our vendor, Aerial Services of Livermore CA, charges $1,024. GoFundMe takes 5% ($51.20) of funds raised so we will need to raise a total of $1,076.

Timeframe: In order to reserve a plane for the Niners vs. Saints we will need to reach our goal by October 28th.

When I saw the GoFundMe page yesterday, just $90 had been collected from four donors. Now, less than 24 hours later as I check the number, the campaign is trending according to GoFundMe and the total has risen to $2,252 from 90 donors. The group is no longer accepting donations, but unless these guys are attempting to profit from the pain of the “faithful,” we might see another banner before the conclusion of this season.

I can’t take credit for the money generated, as it appears most of the donors are coming by way of Facebook. And while I think a “49ers: Fire Trent Baalke” banner is amusing and somewhat understandable given the state of the roster and his refusal to concern himself with character, quarterbacks, wide receivers, or anyone who isn’t a defensive back or former defensive lineman from Oregon … perhaps now that the banner is paid for, fans can donate to causes that benefit the lives of those less fortunate. But who am I to tell people how to spend their money? One can suggest the same thing about donating to worthy charities to anyone who throws down a few hundred dollars on a nice meal, several thousand on a vacation, or tens of thousands on a luxury automobile.

Fans are obviously upset, and they are mutually parting with $5-$50 to embarrass the Yorks and the general manager who, at this point, appears bulletproof. We’ll see if a banner calling for his termination changes anything or if the gesture causes the Yorks to dig in their heels and extend Baalke to 2020.

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