Roger Goodell says he will wait on any potential discipline for Ray McDonald

AP

Roger Goodell firmly admits he got it wrong when it came to handing down discipline for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for a domestic abuse incident this offseason.

But despite reworking the conduct policy to lead to harsher discipline in regards to domestic incidents, that doesn’t mean Goodell is in a hurry to pass judgement on 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald.

McDonald was arrested this week on a domestic abuse incident in California. McDonald says “the truth will come out” and that he’s “a good-hearted person” in regards to the allegations.

The 49ers intend to allow due process to take its course in the legal system. Goodell echoed those sentiments Wednesday is speaking after a Play 60 event in Renton, Washington ahead of Thursday night’s season opener between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.

“I think the first thing you have to do is let the process play out and get the facts and make sure you understand all the circumstances. We don’t right now. We obviously are following it very closely,” Goodell said.

Goodell said the league will let the legal system reach its conclusion before determining whether to levy any discipline toward McDonald.

“Yeah, I think that was very clear in the policy, not only charged, but we would wait for the legal system to complete it’s process, particularly in any case on a first-case [offense]. That’s something that is very important to us,” Goodell said.

With the league intent on waiting for cases to travel through the length of the court system before assessing discipline, it could add incentives for any players facing possible discipline to draw out the legal process as much as possible, and to potentially bypass a lesser plea deal in the sake of going to trial and fighting the accusations fully.

If McDonald is proven to have committed a crime in this instance, he could very well become the first player to be slapped with a six-game suspension under the conduct policy. However, it appears it will be some time still before Goodell would have to levy that punishment.

14 responses to “Roger Goodell says he will wait on any potential discipline for Ray McDonald

  1. Interesting. So if Aaron Hernandez was released on bail the NFL would let him play? After all, he hasn’t be convicted of anything at this point.

    Not sure this is such a good idea…

  2. “With the league intent on waiting for cases to travel through the length of the court system before assessing discipline, it could add incentives for any players facing possible discipline to draw out the legal process as much as possible”

    i.e. Marshawn Lynch

  3. Someone track down Mike Florio. I mean, given the fact that Goodell said the exact same things the Niners did, and Florio just posted an article roasting them for saying they’d wait to let the legal system play out, I’m sure he’s gonna do the same thing with Goodell, right?

  4. 1st time offense with this.

    He got popped for a DUI in 2010. Upstanding model citizen though right?

    But let’s all “BOlieve” he’s a “good-hearted person”

  5. Its the right thing to do, your talking about suspending or potentially cutting someones career short. They should make dam sure he’s in the wrong. This is not the same as a teacher or cop who would likely be suspended for public safety while their spousal abuse case plays out. Theres no danger to the public by making sure he did something wrong.

  6. Give the players a choice. If you get in trouble with the law, They can confess and accept the initial penalty. Or, they can take their chance with the legal system and get aquitted or if found guilty, a 1 year suspension with rehab, or expelled fom the league. Zero tolerance! Players are blessed to be playing a game for a living.
    How would your employer treat you if you were to fail drug testing or arrested?

  7. The NFL should let the police handle law enforcement. Just focus on setting straight the things that affect the game like the messed up PED policies and hGH testing.

  8. So let me get this straight… A player gets arrested (not convicted) but should be sat out until due process plays out? Great idea…now one team just has to pay a hooker to pretend that the star player on the other team beat her…then they lose the Superbowl. Great idea!

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