Jim Harbaugh implies Ray McDonald will be cut if convicted of domestic violence
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested over the weekend and charged with felony domestic violence. Given that Roger Goodell recently admitted he made a mistake with the Ray Rice punishment and has changed the NFL’s policy on handling domestic abuse cases, McDonald could be out for a while if convicted. He could also wind up being released by the Niners.
During his weekly appearance on KNBR Tuesday morning, Harbaugh basically promised that McDonald will no longer be welcome with the team if he is convicted.
“I’ll be very clear,” he said, per CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco. “You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that. If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there’s no understanding. There’s no tolerance for that.”
When specifically asked if he meant that the Niners would not employ a player who was guilty of such behavior, Harbaugh did not hold back.
“Yes, we would not. We can be very clear,” he said. “There are going to be two principles at play here. And one is, I’ll speak for myself, I’ll speak for the 49ers: We’ll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle, we’re firm believers in is due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles.”
Harbaugh’s stance against domestic violence has always been a firm one. In 2012, former Niners safety Donte Whitner said Harbaugh told the team he was willing to work through any problems players might have off the field with them, but physical abuse of a woman will not be tolerated.
“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,” Whitner said. “If you put your hand on a woman then you’re done in his book. So other than putting your hands on women, you can do anything and come talk to him, and it’s true.”
It is somewhat ironic that Harbaugh’s brother John coaches Rice, but no one said the brothers have to hold the same principles and rules. McDonald will have his say in court, and we don’t know when that will be. But if he did in fact assault a woman, it seems pretty clear he will be given a pink slip.