One of the issues with immediately suspending an athlete when a domestic issue comes up, what if the athlete isn’t formally charged? Or, what if the accusers’ story changes? San Francisco 49’ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested in late August for an alleged assault on his pregnant fianceé.
Today it was announced that McDonald won’t be charged with a crime, in part because his fianceé said that she struck him, and he was only attempting to restrain her. The DA released a statement about the decision not to prosecute.
“Conflicting versions of the event, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation from Jane Doe; we cannot prove a crime occurred,” said Lindsay Walsh, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney in charge of the case. “In this particular case, there were particular pieces of information missing.”
“Both Jane Doe and McDonald agree that Jane Doe struck first,” according to the memo. “Jane Doe said it was a single push. McDonald said Jane Doe hit him multiple times with a closed fist. … [McDonald had no visible injuries or complaints of pain.] McDonald grabbed Jane Doe’s arms to restrain her, resulting in visible injury.”
“The issue of domestic violence is important to us, as it is throughout society,” the 49ers said in a statement. “We have taken this allegation seriously, just as we have taken the principles of due process seriously. We have said from the beginning that we will consider the information available, allow the facts to lead to our decisions and respect the judicial process.
“Based on the information available to us and the District Attorney’s decision not to file charges, there will be no change in Ray’s status with the team.”
Of course, we’ve been here before with Janay Rice accepting the blame. But it does bring up the interesting paradox. Of course we know the statics, most women will go back to an “abuser.” But how do you move forward if the victim says they aren’t, stays with the individual and wants you to “mind your biz?”
I’m not saying that people should turn a blind eye, but I am asking how you look out for the best interest of an adult who says nothing is wrong.