An executive order has been signed by President Donald Trump which grants clemency to the former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr

DeBartolo, who purchased the 49ers in 1977 and proceeded to oversee five Super Bowl titles as the owner of the NFL franchise during the 1980’s and 1990’s, pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony in 1998 after former Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, allegedly extorted $400,000 from him to win a casino license.

The plea saw DeBartolo avoid any jail time. However, he agreed to pay $1m in penalties, serve two years of probation and testify in future trials against both the ex-Governor and his son who formed key targets in a federal probe into the state’s gambling industry.

In addition, the former owner was fined by the NFL and forced to relinquish active control of the 49ers for a year, with DeBartolo voluntarily ceding control of the franchise to his sister in 2000 following his year away.

The announcement of DeBartolo’s pardon was announced at the White House earlier this week with NFL legends such as Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley all in attendance. 

Former 49ers wide receiver Rice discussed what the former owner had done both on and off the field, saying: “I think with Eddie and what he has accomplished, what he has done on the football field, off the football field a lot of charity work so we talked about that,” 

“We talked about just being great. You know, trying to be the greatest of all time. And you know, I take my hat off for Donald Trump and what he did.”

“[Eddie] is the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls, 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.”

DeBartolo was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.



DeBartolo was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.