By Maria Medina

SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — San Francisco 49ers players are revealing a little-known side of themselves, a side much different from their role as modern-day gladiators.

For a second year, each position group hosted special guests at their training facility in Santa Clara. These guests were handpicked to participate in what’s known as “Community Corner.”

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More than 1,000 people representing more than 40 community groups attended open practice as guests of the Niners. These groups included the military, women’s empowerment, first responders, special needs, mental health, health and medical support, and those diagnosed with ALS.

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The guests checked in and received special credentials – and treats. They watched practice from seats located in stands that were shaded from the sun.

After each practice, the players came by to chat with them, pose for photographs, and sign autographs. The guests were genuinely thrilled to be invited.  The 49ers told KPIX 5 they felt honored to host these guests.

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The 49ers also said if they continue to have open practices, they hope Community Corner will return next year.