San Francisco supervisors have denounced the football team that bears The City's name for allowing 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald to take the field Sunday despite an ongoing investigation into his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.
In approving Supervisor London Breed's resolution Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors joins the mounting criticism of the 49ers' handling of the incident amid an uproar over a separate alleged domestic violence incident involving a now former Baltimore Ravens running back.
Breed, who acknowledged she was “bitter” that the team left San Francisco to play in the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara starting this season, said it was important to take a stand on the McDonald issue given that the football franchise continues to bear The City's name.
On Monday, the issue of the NFL and domestic violence was widely debated when released surveillance footage by TMZ was said to running back Ray Rice punching and knocking unconscious his then-fiancee in a Feb 15 incident at an Atlantic City, N.J., casino. Rice and his now wife, Janay Palmer, were both charged with assault in connection with the incident, and the NFL initially suspended Rice for two games as a penalty. Following the release of the video Monday, Rice was cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
Speaking to the situation with McDonald and allowing him to play, 49ers CEO Jed York said Tuesday, “Each case is its own separate case.”
“Ray McDonald is not Ray Rice,” York told KNBR (680 AM). “As a society, we have a sense of saying, 'Well, you didn't do it right with Ray Rice right away so you need to overdo it with Ray McDonald or whoever else it is.' And I don't believe that's the country that we live in. I don't think that's a fair way to approach it.”
McDonald is out on $25,000 bail following his Aug. 31 arrest on felony domestic violence charges at his San Jose home, where he was celebrating his 30th birthday. An investigation by the Santa Clara County district attorney is ongoing.
“I will not punish somebody until we see evidence that it should be done or before an entire legal police investigation shows us something,” York said.
Breed's resolution says that “McDonald should be held to the same standard as everyone else whose uniform bears the name 'San Francisco,'” noting that city officials are placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations of serious criminal charges related to their job.
The resolution also takes aim at the NFL.
“The National Football League specifically, major league sports in general, and American culture must do more to stop domestic violence and protect the victims of abuse,” the resolution says.
The NFL recently increased penalties for domestic violence. First-time offenders face a six-game suspension and second offenses carries a suspension of at least one year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.