Former 49ers stars Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley talked about President Trump’s presidential pardon for former owner Eddie Debartolo Jr.
The players were very thankful.
USAToday reports Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice praised President Donald Trump for pardoning Edward DeBartolo Jr. on Tuesday at the White House.
“I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did,” Rice told reporters on the White House’s North Lawn.
Trump signed an executive order granting clemency to DeBartolo, the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers who in 1998 was given a $1 million fine and two years of probation for bribing former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in a gambling fraud scandal.
Several former NFL players met with Trump on Tuesday, including Rice, Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley.
DeBartolo built the 49ers into a dynasty in the 1980s and 1990s during his 23-year run as owner. The NFL, however, suspended him for a year, and he ceded control of the franchise to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, in 1997.
DeBartolo’s five Super Bowls in 14 years were a record for a single owner at the time. In 2016, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Rice won three Super Bowls with the 49ers under DeBartolo, who the receiver said “was like that 12th man” of those teams.
“He’s the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls,” Rice said. “So today is a great day for him. I’m glad to be here and be a part of that. It’s just something I will never forget. This man, he has done so much in the community, has done so much in NFL football.”