49ers’ Harbaugh won’t tolerate domestic violence

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, September 2, 2014 4:27pm
  • SportsSports

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh reiterated Tuesday that the team will not tolerate domestic violence.

Harbaugh made his comments and maintained a firm stance about the topic during his radio segment on KNBR-AM, two days after 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested on felony domestic violence charges.

“You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that,” Harbaugh said during the radio segment. “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.”

McDonald, 30, is out on $25,000 bail following his arrest at his San Jose home early Sunday where he was celebrating his birthday with teammates and friends.

San Jose police released few details Tuesday surrounding McDonald’s arrest, only saying that officers at the scene saw the alleged victim with “visible injuries.” McDonald’s arrest came after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including a six-week suspension for a first offense and at least a year for a second.

The move followed scrutiny over Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s two-game penalty stemming from his arrest on an assault charge in February.

Harbaugh said he didn’t know all of the details regarding McDonald and cautioned against any rush to judgment. The coach also said Tuesday that he would not allow any player who was found guilty of domestic violence on his team.

“Yes, we would not. We can be very clear (on that),” Harbaugh said. “This is a legal matter. I think we all owe, to everyone involved, the ability for due process to take place.”

An eight-year veteran, McDonald practiced Tuesday. If he’s held out, defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie would likely fill his spot. However, the team was left answering far more questions about their off-field issues than the season opener Sunday at Dallas.

Harbaugh met with the team Tuesday to reiterate his zero tolerance policy on domestic violence. General manager Trent Baalke said he’s had lengthy conversations with McDonald since Sunday as the organization continues gathering information.

“This matter is being treated seriously by this organization,” Baalke said. “This is certainly something that hits home for me. I’ve got two daughters myself. Domestic violence is unacceptable, and it certainly won’t be tolerated.”

Baalke said he hasn’t spoken to other players who attended McDonald’s birthday party.

Tight end Vernon Davis said he was there along with about half of his teammates. Davis said he left when the police arrived.

“I didn’t see them arrest him. I tried to stay out of it. I’ll talk to Ray later. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything. So I don’t know what went on over there,” Davis said. “All I do know is Ray is a great guy, he’s awesome.”

McDonald’s arrest came two days after linebacker Aldon Smith received a nine-game suspension for violations of the NFL substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.

Asked about the 49ers having players arrested an NFL-high 10 times since 2012, Harbaugh said Tuesday that the team is doing “everything in our power to make sure there isn’t a pattern forming.”

“I as a coach, the organization, the other coaches, have made it a point and we’ll continue to make it a point of emphasis of good conduct, 100 percent of the time,” Harbaugh said. “We believe it’s personal. We believe it’s part of our responsibility.”

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