It won’t take long for the NFL’s new policy on domestic violence to be tested.
Days after league commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to all NFL owners detailing harsher punishments for such illegal incidents, the first case emerged Sunday morning.
49ers defensive end Ray McDonald has been arrested on felony domestic violence charges, according to police. McDonald posted $25,000 bail and was released from Santa Clara County Jail, according San Jose Police.
San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol says the 29-year-old defensive end was taken into custody early Sunday after officers responded to a home in an upscale neighborhood.
McDonald wouldn’t discuss what happened with television news reporters who approached him after he posted bail.
"I can’t say too much, not right now, but the truth will come out. Everybody knows the kind of person that I am," McDonald said. "I’m a good-hearted person."
The alleged victim is pregnant, according to Damian Trujillo of NBC Bay Area. While the case must develop for any on-field discipline to take course, an eventual suspension could surpass the first-offense baseline of six games, according to the new policy.
"The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald, and we take such matters seriously," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment."
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has taken a firm stance on violence against women. Former 49ers safety Donte Whitner told reporters that Harbaugh said to his players in 2012 such incidents would not be tolerated.
“He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us except put our hands on women,” Whitner said in 2012. “If you put your hand on a woman, then you’re done in his book.
McDonald, who was a full-time starter last season in San Francisco, was also arrested for DUI in 2010.
Goodell instituted harsher penalties after he suspended Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games in July. Goodell noted last week that Rice’s punishment was far too lenient and future conduct violations would be met with action.
McDonald has been playing for San Francisco since he was drafted as a third-round pick in 2007.
The incident is the latest blow to what has been one of the NFL’s fiercest defenses. On Friday, linebacker Aldon Smith received a nine-game suspension for what the league called violations of its substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.