Ray McDonald, a defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested on August 31 on charges alleging he assaulted his pregnant fiancee. Despite the allegations, the 49ers have decided that McDonald will be allowed to continue playing this season.
This all comes hard on the heels of the Baltimore Raven’s decision to release Ray Rice, after he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for knocking out his fiance in an Atlantic City casino elevator. The league is also dealing with the fallout surrounding Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and his alleged abuse of his son.
Ray McDonald made bail and has played in the Niners’ first two games of the season. According to the New York Post, the team’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, declared that he will stand by McDonald, taking a “wait-and-see” stance when it comes to his player’s legal proceedings. This, of course, has drawn a good amount of ire from the public.
In response to the outcry, Harbaugh had this to say on Monday.
“There’s been a lot of public speculation and people weighing in with their opinion…Our response would be, we have two principles at play here and one is respect for due process and we’re not going to flinch based on public speculation.”
The kerfuffle currently swirling around the NFL has stirred up the national discourse regarding domestic violence, and more and more big names are chiming in on the debate. Today, House Minority Leader and Democrat Nancy Pelosi spoke out. According to USA Today, Pelosi — who is apparently a rabid Niners fan — expressed her disappointment with the team for letting McDonald stay on the active roster.
“The fact is he shouldn’t have played,” she said.
The House Minority Leader went on to use the Ray McDonald incident as a springboard to discuss women’s issues in general.
“It’s about respect for women in the workplace—equal pay for equal work. It’s about respect for women’s judgment, about their own health in terms of a woman’s right to choose…It’s about understanding that when women succeed, America succeeds.”
Reporters couldn’t get Pelosi to weigh in on the topic of a Roger Goodell resignation, a consequence that many have called for in light of Goodell’s “slap on the wrist” decision in Ray Rice’s case. She also wouldn’t comment on the potential that the NFL could be hit with a Congressional investigation.
What do you think the Niners organization should do with Ray McDonald? Do you feel he should get treatment similar to what happened to Ray Rice?
[Image via New York Daily News]