Matt Forte-USA TODAY Sports
Count me as one of the unpopular voices that thought the 49ers should have sat Ray McDonald (with pay) until there was some kind of resolution to his pending legal troubles. Had I known how ridiculously long this all would have dragged out and how little evidence would actually come forth, I would have thought differently, but you know what they say about hindsight.
Today, we learn that there likely won't be any charges against McDonald at all (although the DA is now saying no decision has been made). Certainly there have been a lot of developments in the story over the last 2 months, but still very few facts have surfaced that have given us real insight as to what took place at Ray's big birthday bash.
We know cops were there, some who were supposed to be, some who weren't. We know cops had been there before and somewhat recently, in response to Ray's significant other drawing a firearm on him. Aside from those things, we're left to only guess at what happened that night and truly what's been happening between the 49ers, the SJPD, and the District Attorney's office these past 8 weeks.
I'm not exactly holding my breath in hopes that we'll ever really know what took place the night of August 31st, the truth of what happened there is in some pretty muddy waters and that could be due in no small part to the team's relationship with SJPD. My major question at this point is; what the hell is taking so long?
I know nothing moves terribly quickly in the judicial system but after 2 whole months nobody can decide whether or not they have enough ammunition to press charges on a routine case? Within this system, it would be wrong to have a player lose half his season while prosecutors make up their minds. I'm sure that no state or city official wants to be publicly giving different treatment to an athlete or celebrity, but with as visible as these men are now and the message it would send to the population if a player were allowed to play if actually guilty, I think there should be an expedited system for them to be ushered through the courts and a resolution can be found. It's definitely wrong to reap the benefits from a player who belongs in jail, but it's also wrong to strip a man of his right to work when months roll by and nobody can get any decisions made.
Between the Ray Rice situation, Hardy in Carolina, and our very own Ray McDonald, the NFL has shown zero consistency in what it expects and how it reacts to players going through legal issues. It's confusing, it's seemingly unfair to certain players, and it breeds even more contempt between the players and the league. Furthermore, the fans suffer and it affects the product on the field.
Even with the knowledge that the DA still considers this case open, it really feels like it's lost its steam and if charges were going to be filed, it would have happened already. Nevertheless, this pall has been hanging over that player and this team throughout the season. I think the leadership of the team has done a masterful job of tuning out distractions, if and when this thing is all over hopefully some change can come forth in regards to how all these things are handled. It's pretty obvious NFL players are not just like any other citizen. For better or worse, they should be treated differently.
By: Dan the 9er Man
Date: November 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM
Comment: I'm glad that you see the error in your ways, but the question is, if this happened again, would you be one of the people calling for immediate action? If so, then you didn't learn anything from this incident. People, including you and i, are afforded the presumption of innocence in this country until proven guilty. The movies and media have created a very different reality for people, making it seem as though the court of public opinion is relevant, or matters more than a judicial court. If you were in Ray's shoes, how would you feel about people making any assumptions about your guilt or innocence? Would you think it would be appropriate given the lack of information? Those who made any assumption about his guilt or innocence should take a hard look in the mirror. Is there something in your life that you feel guilty about? Why would you assume the worst of another person without any information? That's what you should be focusing on...YOU...and YOUR life and how YOU act, not someone else. Pay attention, those who are the first to cast stones are always the people with the most to hide.
By: ol sammy boy
Date: November 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Comment: It was in a police report early on the victim previously pulled a loaded gun on the accused compelling him to call 911, that right there should have slowed the politically correct lynch mob to some sensibility. We all know women could never lie, cheat, steal, molest or kill their boy friends, husbands' or children. Lowel Cohn, Ann Killion and the rest of that group should now be removed from their jobs for 8 weeks pending a review they are at all competent to be impartial sports journalists
Date: November 1, 2014 at 2:20 PM
Comment: A few trhings I do not agree with from your post but, will keep it to the one thing that bothered me most.
" It's pretty obvious NFL players are not just like any other citizen. For better or worse, they should be treated differently. "
Nobody & I mean nobody should be treated any different. The Legal system should treat every citizen rich or poor the same. The problem is that doesn't happen. Rich/famous people get away with a lot more than the people who don't have money or a team of lawyers. I do not in anyway feel that the 49ers or NFL should take action against a player not charged nor convicted of a crime. That is not what I am saying. Whereas I may have agreed with you had this been a case where McDonald had Lawyers delaying the outcome or otherwise impeding the progress. That is not the case here it isn't like Marshawn Lynch who was obviously Guilty of Drinking & driving & had his Lawyers delay & delay until the Prosecution decided to just drop the charge down to a reckless driving infraction after like 2 yrs to clear their books. He got away without so much as a single game suspension from The NFL nor the Seahawks & I never saw a single article written about that?
Date: November 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM
Comment: Yes, you were wrong and never should have jumped to conclusions over an incident that still and probay will never have charges. If everyone wasn't going crazy over Ray Rice, not much would have ever been made over this. Same goes for all the dumb politicians and over reactive politically correct idiots in sports TV. F you don't know.... SHUT UP
Date: November 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM
Comment: This just seems like a really lame attempt to salvage your credibility after being so wrong on this.
While I don't think it is necessary for a team to wait until the full legal process runs it's course to act, it is necessary for them to make their own inquiries and act according to what they find. Clearly, the 49ers were able to assess Ray's innocence from talking to all the players who were there at the party. They knew what this outcome would be a long time ago and that is why McDonald is still playing.
It is unfortunate that people like you decided to join the media mob in calling for punishment that Ray did not deserve. You are part of the reason this whole thing is taking so long and you should apologize to your readers.
Date: November 1, 2014 at 1:33 PM
Comment: First of all, people need to stop comparing the McDonald situation wth the others. He has not been charged with a crime. If he is charged, you can then evaluate the 49ers and NFL's handling of it. those who wanted him suspended were wrong. Most were uber liberals (and I'm a democrat) who think that anyone suspected of a crime against women should be immediately convicted. Couldn't disagree more. We have a system and rules, and one of those is that we all have a right to fair trial and are innocent until proven. There wasn't a video or some evidence leaked out, there was nothing, but a player arrested on suspicion of demestic violence.
My son was arrested for something he had almost no involvement in, but a whacko parent (to many of those these days) decided to press charges against the group of kids. What happened? The DA got the case and immediately tossed it, calling it a farce and embarrassment to the mother who pushed to get some good kids in real trouble. What if the school had taken action before it was tossed? Would that have been just or fair to my son? Of course not. Let's allow the law to do its job and keep the media out of it.