San Francisco 49ers defensive end, Ray McDonald, was arrested on Sunday morning on a felony charge of domestic violence. The defensive end was detained by police in the San Jose area, for an alleged altercation with his fiancée. Law enforcement responded to a call about a domestic disturbance around 2:45 a.m., to Bentley Ridge Drive, an upscale suburban area in San Jose. Reportedly when officers arrived at his home, a party celebration was going on for McDonald’s 30th birthday. Police say that McDonald’s fiancée, who is also 10 weeks pregnant, reported bruising on her arms and neck allegedly inflicted by McDonald. He was then taken into custody without any incident to Santa Clara County jail. A bail was set in the amount of $25,000, for which he was later released according to Sgt. Heather Randol.
McDonald began playing for the San Francisco 49ers back in 2007, when he chosen as a third-round pick. The General Manager of the team, Trent Baalke, offered a statement regarding the Sunday arrest, “The San Francisco 49ers organization is knowledgeable of the recent news report of Ray McDonald. We take matters such as these seriously.” Baalke concluded the statement by saying the team will not give any further comments until more information is gathered.
Not that any time is a good time to be arrested for domestic violence, but for the San Francisco 49ers, Ray McDonald’s arrest is real bad timing. Just last week the Commissioner of the N.F.L., Roger Goodell, declared that there would be more strict penalties for any employee that had been accused of domestic violence, battery, or sexual assault. Goodell’s new regulation comes on the heels of a move that caused backlash over a ruling of Ray Rice, who plays running back for the Baltimore Ravens. Rice was only given a two-game penalty after his arrest for the same domestic violence charge back in February.
Local authorities did not expound on any specifics regarding McDonald’s arrest, but typically in a domestic violence case, “victims are usually a spouse, or a person who’s living together with a suspect”, Sgt. Randol told reporters. McDonald was detained back in 2010 for a D.U.I charge in the County of San Mateo. He was picked up a second time for a D.U.I in 2012, and as a result, had a long outstanding warrant.
McDonald has started in 45 of out 48 games since the 2011 season, and many believe, is an essential part of a San Francisco defense that will begin its season without the high profile linebackers NaVorro Bowman, and Aldon Smith. Smith is still dealing with a nine game suspension for violation of the NFL’s regulated personal-conduct policy, as well as for substance abuse. Bowman on the other hand, sits on the PUP list (Physically Unable to Perform) with a lingering knee injury. He is expected to miss the first six games of the season.
The 49ers were criticized back in September, when team managers allowed Smith to play all defensive snaps in a crushing loss to the Indianapolis Colts, merely two days after being arrested for the second DUI he acquired. Smith would later check himself into a rehab facility, and did not play in the following five games. As of January 2012, the San Francisco 49ers have managed to have 10 arrests, which is a league high according to San Diego Union-Tribune, a data report base that keeps a record of arrests made in the NFL. San Francisco 49ers star Ray McDonald, who was bailed out after being arrested on a domestic violence charge, is ordered to be back in court on Sept. 15.
Commentary by Theodore Borders