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NFL clears Ray McDonald in domestic violence case

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Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy were both accused of domestic violence last year. Both got the same results from the legal system, ultimately having their charges dropped. But the NFL’s brand of justice has been radically different.

Hardy was banished with pay by the Panthers for 15 games last season and has now been suspended an additional 10 games without pay this season. But McDonald was allowed to play for the 49ers amid the domestic violence accusation last year and will not be suspended at all this year.

The NFL has confirmed that it investigated McDonald, who is now with the Bears, and cleared him of any violation of the personal-conduct policy.

“We have completed that [domestic-violence] investigation,” NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told the Associated Press Sports Editors. ‘‘[Special counsel for investigations] Lisa [Friel] and her team completed that investigation [and] did not establish a violation of the personal-conduct policy. We informed the player and the [NFL] Players Association.’’

However, that doesn’t mean McDonald is totally out of the woods. He is also being investigated in connection with a sexual assault. McDonald has not been charged in that case and says he will sue the woman who accused him.

‘‘Just to be clear, Ray McDonald had two issues, as you may remember — one related to a domestic-
violence incident and one related to an alleged sexual assault,’’ Friel said. ‘‘It’s the domestic-violence incident that we have finished investigating and didn’t find sufficient evidence to say that he violated the personal-conduct policy. The sexual-assault incident, that investigation is ongoing. That has not been completed, nor has the district attorney’s office in Santa Clara County completed their investigation into that matter.’’

The second accusation against McDonald led the 49ers to cut him. But as far as the the NFL is concerned, he’s not in any trouble with the personal-conduct policy. At least not yet.

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48 Responses to “NFL clears Ray McDonald in domestic violence case”
  1. joetoronto says: Apr 26, 2015 12:33 PM

    What a turd.

  2. TheDPR says: Apr 26, 2015 12:38 PM

    NFL – the antithesis of consistency.

  3. bigticket3 says: Apr 26, 2015 12:43 PM

    2 “cases” in the same season? Prolly guilty of at least one, but has sj cop buddies…smh good riddens ray.

  4. forty9asty says: Apr 26, 2015 12:44 PM

    Anyone else think its messed up that if a player on Team X gets in trouble with the law, then there is backlash and pressure from the public which eventually means Team X has to cut said player. Then, (if that player is good enough), he always lands with another team, and gets a chance to have a fresh start with that new team?

    I think there should be something in place where the team that “has to” cut a player like that should get a late round pick from the team that picks up a troubled player.

  5. billh1947 says: Apr 26, 2015 12:45 PM

    “The second accusation against McDonald led the 49ers to cut him.”
    They cut him because of an allegation that has yet to be a proven fact by the police or in a court of law?I guess presumption of innocence does not apply to the 49er players or they wouldnt have cut him.maybe they heard from his close contacts that he told them he did do it but if so why didnt they tell the police. presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty is there for a reason except in the NFL.

  6. spittabeatz says: Apr 26, 2015 12:47 PM

    He didnt do any thing wrong..he has the whole sexual encounter taped on his home surveillance system..he will be cleared in that case too..sucks my 9ers had to drop him over this.

  7. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 26, 2015 12:56 PM

    “presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty is there for a reason except in the NFL”

    You forget the internet lynch mobs, doesn’t apply to them either.

  8. realdealsteel says: Apr 26, 2015 1:00 PM

    49ers overreacted and it cost them a really good player. They deserve no compensation for their overreaction.

  9. jaycutlersbarber says: Apr 26, 2015 1:02 PM

    Clearly, the bears brass did their homework, while the same cannot be said for the cowboys.

  10. floratiotime says: Apr 26, 2015 1:03 PM

    Hardy is only innocent in Dallas. The rest of the country is a lot smarter.

  11. Indybear says: Apr 26, 2015 1:03 PM

    Believe it or not, there are women (and men) that will attempt to exploit athletes for personal and financial gain. McDonald appears to have encountered one, maybe two, of them and is guilty of stupidity by association. Regardless of the outcomes and his abilities, I’m still surprised my Bears are taking a chance on him.

    I would agree that the NFL is inconsistent in many ways, which is especially true under Goodell. However, these cases are completely different and required different outcomes. Friel’s invesitigation found a distinct history of violent and abusive behavior with Hardy; McDonald had none. Not condoning anything, just stating a fact.

  12. tokyogasblaster says: Apr 26, 2015 1:14 PM

    The packers will sign him!

  13. head1994 says: Apr 26, 2015 1:14 PM

    But hardy got suspended again? Let hardy play

  14. bmoreb says: Apr 26, 2015 1:16 PM

    TheDPR says:
    Apr 26, 2015 12:38 PM

    NFL – the antithesis of consistency.
    _________________________________

    This comment and all others like it are asinine. The idiotic player(s) places themselves in such situations as the ones most recently grabbing the headlines and the NFL gets called out ? Unreal.

    Can the NFL do a better job of policing such incidents ? Sure they can and they’re making the effort to. But let’s not forget the reason they have to have their own police force, DA, PD, Judge & Jury.

  15. marvin49 says: Apr 26, 2015 1:21 PM

    Just some clarity…

    Accusing the 49ers of letting him go before the legal process is complete is ridiculous. “Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t apply to the 49ers”? Right. That’s why they stood by Ray after the first incident even though they were standing against a mountain of public pressure on an incident he was never charged for.

    After that incident however, they Donald him he had to keep himself out of situations like the second incident or they would be forced to release him. At the time of release, the team said they had no idea of his innocence or guilt but that he had violated his promise to the team to keep himself out of situations that could get him in trouble. IE, he was on thin ice.

    Do Niners deserve compensation? Nope. Player lost his job and signed for far less than he was making in SF and the Niners lost a good player.

  16. wnstonchill says: Apr 26, 2015 1:33 PM

    Welcome to the Bears Ray! Time to take some names and bring the Bears back to the top of the NFC NORTH !!!

  17. jchipwood says: Apr 26, 2015 1:34 PM

    Difference between Mcdonald and Hardy is the Cowboys play the Patriots and 49ers don’t. So obvioulsy Hardy will is suspended and will win his appeal and will be able to return to the cowboys after they play the patriots. Since 49ers don’t play the patriots all is ok. Anyone wanna bet Hardy will be allowed to return to cowboys after they play pats?

  18. 700levelvet says: Apr 26, 2015 1:35 PM

    Yanno guys… There are some really nice girls out there.. Who would support you, love you, look out for your best interests… And vice versa..It’s a two way street… Yes…but classy girls are available..

  19. bassplucker says: Apr 26, 2015 1:43 PM

    I hope he tears it up for the Bears this year. That D needs major talent upgrades at almost every position and they don’t have enough draft picks to do it with so at least a couple of these offseason FA signings need to pan out.

  20. suncawy says: Apr 26, 2015 1:49 PM

    The NFL stands for the Not Fairness League. Adrian Peterson, your a Hall of Fame player, you get a pass. Greg Hardy, you did something, but can’t be too sure, even though we only went by what was provided to us, because we can’t get a hold of the accuser, who felt money was better than going to trial, you get 10 games. Ray Macdonald, we have no clue what you did, even though there was a police report, but at least you didn’t have to go to trial, your ok in our books. Ray Rice, that video did you in, sorry your going to be blacklisted and no team will touch you with a 10 foot pole. Remember, our motto, there is no such thing as fairness in our league. Thank you, this is sheriff and judge, Roger Goodell.

  21. abninf says: Apr 26, 2015 2:15 PM

    All these different allegations against one man, allegations most will never have against them in a lifetime, including rich people. And he’s totally innocent of all of them of course. Poor guy.

  22. dukeearl says: Apr 26, 2015 2:23 PM

    billh1947 says:
    Apr 26, 2015 12:45 PM
    “The second accusation against McDonald led the 49ers to cut him.”
    They cut him because of an allegation that has yet to be a proven fact by the police or in a court of law?I guess presumption of innocence does not apply to the 49er players or they wouldnt have cut him.maybe they heard from his close contacts that he told them he did do it but if so why didnt they tell the police. presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty is there for a reason except in the NFL.
    *******************
    Presumption of innocence applies to courts of law, not business.

  23. southpaw79 says: Apr 26, 2015 2:27 PM

    At first he was accused of beating up his pregnant fiancee. Eye witnesses of the “fight” confirmed that the fiancee was the aggressor and he just kept her at arms length. I believe the fiancee even admitted to it and did not want Ray to get in trouble, but the investigation must go on. The 49ers knew this, knew the pregnant fiancee still supported McDonald and so they stood behind him.
    McDonald then was accused of sexual assault of another girl at a party. McDonald confirmed the sexual encounter but that it was purely consensual. I.e. he cheated on his pregnant fiancee with a money hungry gold digger. McDonald got fired for being a idiot at best, sexual predator at worse.

  24. smcgaels1997 says: Apr 26, 2015 2:42 PM

    The fact McDonald put himself in bad statistics after the first incident is the issue. SF stood by him and was DESTROYED by the media and public. He embarrassed them yet again. Of course he gets a 2nd chance. But let’s not act like he was wronged by SF. Do I think it’s crap he pretty much forced the hand to cut him and he gets to go be productive somewhere else? Absolutely. But thats on Chicago taking on a guy with major issues

  25. alginyes says: Apr 26, 2015 3:05 PM

    Let’s see how the NFL handles the Bruce Miller situation.

  26. alginyes says: Apr 26, 2015 3:14 PM

    Hardy was found not guilty in a court of law. Regardless of what you may think happen, it wasn’t on tape and the NFL will lose in the appeal. The Niners should have given Rays situation to clear. Bruce Miller, who is white, hasn’t been released, but it appears he did in fact attack his wife….but the Niners are being hypocrites as usual. Bruce has been out of limelight for a reason, let’s see if the NFL gives him some games to miss…even if he is found not guilty!

  27. axespray says: Apr 26, 2015 3:30 PM

    “YEAH BOy – Finally a win for the Good Guys!”
    – Darren Sharper and Aaron Hernandez.

  28. alfredogarciashead says: Apr 26, 2015 3:33 PM

    If I ever get in serious trouble I hope the NFL has to decide my wrongdoing.

  29. smiley4284 says: Apr 26, 2015 3:39 PM

    Greg Hardy beat a 110 lb, 5’2″ woman unconscious….4 times. I hope Dallas fans who support him can look their wives, daughters, and mothers in the eye and say “give him another chance”. Wait, that’s par for the course for that fanbase. Karma is going to get the Cowboys…..hard.

  30. whatjusthapped says: Apr 26, 2015 4:24 PM

    For those who wish to draw direct comparisons between the two players and their resulting punishment, just understand that the NFL had full access to the facts in each case and they couldn’t have been more different. I’m not saying I want Ray McDonald to date my sister, I’m just saying the facts weren’t there for a 10 game suspension but in Hardy’s case, they were.

    Is that so hard to understand?

  31. lgw91s says: Apr 26, 2015 5:02 PM

    jchipwood says:
    Apr 26, 2015 1:34 PM
    Difference between Mcdonald and Hardy is the Cowboys play the Patriots and 49ers don’t. So obvioulsy Hardy will is suspended and will win his appeal and will be able to return to the cowboys after they play the patriots. Since 49ers don’t play the patriots all is ok. Anyone wanna bet Hardy will be allowed to return to cowboys after they play pats?
    ————————-
    LOL. Ray McDonald plays for the Bears. But quite a rant, nontheless.

  32. kgbdk says: Apr 26, 2015 5:02 PM

    Unfortunately, the Niners had to cut him after the second allegation regardless of whether or not he was guilty. The bad publicity from the first case hung over the team throughout the entire season. They already had the non-sense from Aldon Smith to deal with, and Bruce Miller is currently in legal limbo. It wasn’t until after the season ended that they finally cleared McDonald for the first case, and he got pegged with another case. He’s a solid player, but he’s a poor judge of character if at the very least if two different women are trying to ruin his career.

  33. pftpoetsboyfriend says: Apr 26, 2015 6:06 PM

    McDonald was cut after 49ers were eliminated from contention and Jedidiah York and Baalke’s daughter decided it was time to try to ride the high horse and avoid the appearance of effective management.

  34. swagger52 says: Apr 26, 2015 6:14 PM

    One word…Golddiggers.

    Those that don’t believe me, you have never had to deal with one.

  35. ymca2014 says: Apr 26, 2015 6:37 PM

    These kinds of stories have been swirling around SF, ever since that polecat Tomsula was hired!

  36. raiderrob21 says: Apr 26, 2015 6:55 PM

    BUT, Aldon Smith is still on the team! Its not who you are but what round you were drafted in, how much money you make, and what you can do on the field is whats important in Santa Clara. Aldo should have been cut when he ran into the tree behind the wheel piss drunk with drugs in the car, or the weapons charge, or the party with people getting shot at and stabbed at his house, or yelling out BOMB in an airport while he was drunk (ALEGEDLY)……..and so on

  37. riekki says: Apr 26, 2015 7:06 PM

    (Greg Hardy beat a 110 lb, 5’2″ woman unconscious….4 times.)
    ———————————————————–
    The NFL believes that most of their fan bases are too drunk or stupid or racist to
    look at set of facts and come to a conclusion other than theirs.

    (Friel’s investigation found a distinct history of violent and abusive behavior with Hardy)
    ———————————————————–
    Friel’s investigation found absolutely nothing so she simply repeated what Nicole Holder claimed during the bench trial.
    Testimony that the Charlotte DA refused to use in the jury trial because it clashed with what she told police on the scene.
    Maybe the great and powerful Goodell should appoint
    Friel as a special prosecutor in Charlotte. She could try the case in a court of law with a jury. She could stand in front of a jury and a judge and explain how she know exactly what happened that night, without even talking to Holder.

  38. macgee10 says: Apr 26, 2015 7:11 PM

    What a bunch of horse crap this is. Wow hardy gets suspended 10 games. His suspension better get reduced or the nfl and goodell don’t have a clue.

  39. ionlyrootforthewinningteam says: Apr 26, 2015 8:24 PM

    I knew Ryan Pace had good reason to shove this signing in McCaskey’s face. Hopefully Ray stays squared away and proves to be a valued asset in Fangio’s new Bear’s defense. Rebuilding the defense has to be top priority and it certainly looks to be from these off season FA agency signings.

  40. richardcolvinreid says: Apr 26, 2015 8:26 PM

    Proof that goodell is worthless. Inconsistent penalties.

  41. ionlyrootforthewinningteam says: Apr 26, 2015 8:27 PM

    Stop being upset over it, every player’s demise is based on their individual situation (or situations.) Hardy and McDonald, although you want to compare their issues, are not comparable in Goodell’s or the local governing systems…..so shut up and get over it.

  42. shatho1 says: Apr 26, 2015 10:15 PM

    Hardy is only innocent in Dallas. The rest of the country is a lot smarter.
    *********************************************
    doesn’t matter the NFL is still punishing Hardy under the new guidelines of the personal conduct policy just like they did AP, which they cannot do since it happened while the old policy was in effect, this same problem came up with AP which turned out with the NFL having to reinstate SPans the same thing will most likely happen in this situation with Ray McDonald

  43. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says: Apr 27, 2015 4:04 AM

    Gee golly, so soon? It only took 8 months…

  44. RegisHawk says: Apr 27, 2015 6:57 AM

    Some day these people will realize that the NFL has nothing to do with the legal system. If an owner decided he didn’t want anyone with blue eyes on his team, guess what? They’d cut all the blue-eyed players. It’s his team.

    McDonald brought this on himself when he got into these situations…and btw, there were 3, it’s just that the girl left the house on the first one (around May 2014), so the police couldn’t do anything.

  45. rajbais says: Apr 27, 2015 8:51 AM

    And the 49ers fans should be even more hesitant to renew their tickets.

    A 2nd accusation and this talented player had to go????

  46. poweri26 says: Apr 27, 2015 9:55 AM

    The difference between the 2 cases is that Hardy was accused of having guns in his home. That is something the politically correct NFL can not tolerate. The 2nd Amendment applies to everyone in the country except men who are under an NFL contract. Everyone knows that.

  47. ghostof34 says: Apr 27, 2015 11:38 AM

    poweri26 says:
    Apr 27, 2015 9:55 AM
    The difference between the 2 cases is that Hardy was accused of having guns in his home. That is something the politically correct NFL can not tolerate. The 2nd Amendment applies to everyone in the country except men who are under an NFL contract. Everyone knows that.
    ———————————————————————
    Yeah, it’s probably not that he choked her and threatened her life with said guns…and found guilty by a judge based on the evidence presented, then Hardy paid to make it go away, and her go away…but go ahead and make it about, what it’s not.

  48. sdisme says: May 25, 2015 5:29 PM

    Those NFL investigations are on top of everything!

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