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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : NFC : Trip to Japan Concerns Some 49ers

August 02, 1995|Times Wire Services

The San Francisco 49ers' concerns about playing an exhibition in Japan go beyond the interruption to their training camp routine or having to deal with jet lag from 28 hours flying time to get there and back.

Some 49ers are worried about the timing of their game against the Denver Broncos in Tokyo because it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

"I don't want them to feel we're disrespecting them. We're not. I love everybody. We have to go over there," fullback William Floyd said.

Tackle Harris Barton said players have security concerns not only because of the bombing anniversary, but because of the recent poison chemical attacks in Tokyo's subway system by terrorists.

"You should be apprehensive," Barton said. "You're a visible target. But when you sign the contract, they don't tell you you've got a choice. This week you don't have a choice."

League officials have sought to alleviate player concerns.

"We actually got a letter from [NFL Commissioner] Paul Tagliabue that assured us Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world and that security over there in Japan had assured him there won't be any problems," linebacker Gary Plummer said. "Knowing that security is being tightened puts you a little more at ease."

Steve Young and Jerry Rice left Tuesday to help promote the game and take part in goodwill activities, including an autograph session that will benefit a relief fund set up for victims of the Kobe earthquake.

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Chicago Bear negotiator Ted Phillips said there is a 50-50 chance running back Rashaan Salaam, the 21st player taken in the 1995 draft, will be signed by Friday.

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