Three days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced harsh domestic violence penalties for offenders, the San Francisco 49ers’ Ray McDonald was arrested for domestic violence.
If he is found guilty of the charges stemming from an incident over the weekend, McDonald, under the league’s newly implemented personal conduct policy, would get a six-game ban. A second charge would result in a lifetime ban from the NFL.
“I can’t say too much, not right now, but the truth will come out,” McDonald said Sunday. “Everybody knows the kind of person that I am. I’m a good-hearted person.”
On Tuesday, coach Jim Harbaugh backed up his strong stance against domestic violence, saying he would not want anyone guilty of the crime on his team.
Former 49ers safety Donte Whitner said last year about Harbaugh: “He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us except put our hands on women. If you put your hand on a woman, then you’re done in his book.”
“You don’t need a source to know how I feel,” Harbaugh said Tuesday.
“I’m strongly opposed to domestic violence or violence to children,” he said. “It will not be tolerated.”
Asked whether he had a comment on the 49ers’ league-leading 10 arrests since 2012, Harbaugh said: “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure there isn’t a pattern forming.”
According to police, the victim in this alleged incident in San Jose is pregnant, which could lead to McDonald’s potential suspension being harsher than six games. Goodell’s statement on domestic violence last week said, in part: “Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary standards will apply to all NFL personnel.”
McDonald has a DUI arrest in his past but hasn’t had any off-the-field incidents otherwise. That does not matter with the new policy on domestic violence, however.
The 29-year-old defensive lineman was originally drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft and signed a five-year, $20 million contract extension in 2011.