While other teams around the National Football League have decided to take action against players charged with violent crimes over the past few weeks, the San Francisco 49ers have remained steadfast in their support of Ray McDonald and letting the system play out before drawing conclusions.
McDonald, an eighth-year defensive tackle from Florida, was arrested on domestic violence charges after the San Jose Police Department were called to his house following an incident back in late August.
The details of the alleged assault are stunning and paints a picture of a violent man abusing his pregnant fiancee (via SF Gate).
Three weeks later, and formal charges have not been brought against McDonald. The police department is still deciding whether to send the case to the district attorney’s office for charges of domestic violence. In addition to this, McDonald’s first court trial which was set for last Monday, has been delayed without a potential make-up date.
Now comes this bit of information directly from the San Jose Police Department (via CSN Bay Area).
An engaged couple (a male and female subject) were in an argument when the female subject became upset, grabbed a firearm (handgun) registered to the male subject, and held it at her side,” according to the report.
When the male subject informed the female subject that he was going to call 911, the female subject put the firearm away and fled without incident. The female subject did not make any threats or point the firearm at the male subject. Both subjects have been identified and were contacted.
While it’s not yet known if the subjects were McDonald and his fiancee, reports suggest that is the case. It’s also important to note that this is a completely different incident from the one in which McDonald was arrested and later released on $25,000 bond. The police report in this specific situation points to May 25.
Unlike Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice, McDonald has not been charged with a crime. Despite this, many in the sports world have called on San Francisco to deactivate the defensive tackle.
For their part, the 49ers have continued to indicate that they are going to let the legal system play out before taking potential action against McDonald.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh had this to say earlier this month (via SF Gate).
There are two principles at play here,” Harbaugh said. “One is, we’ll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle is, we’re firm believers in due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles.
Meanwhile, general manager Trent Baalke pretty much repeated what Harbaugh had to say about the situation (via Mercury News).
There is such a thing called due process. We’ve said that from the beginning. We’ve looked into this and will continue to look into this. With every passing day, we gather more and more information. That’s where it really needs to stay at this point. It’s an ongoing legal matter and we’re not going to debate it over the airwaves.
The interesting dynamic here is that the San Jose Police Department had previously indicated it would not release any information involving either the May or August case to the media. That obviously didn’t stop it from doing just this on Thursday evening. Pure conjecture here, but that could very well mean that the police are inclined not to send the case to the district attorney’s office for prosecution.
In any event, we can expect some sort of conclusion here in the coming days. Either charges are filed against McDonald, at which point the 49ers will have to deactivate him, or the legal system makes the decision for San Francisco by deciding not to press charges.
Photo: USA Today