Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald is trying to repair his reputation with the NFL by suing the women that accused him of rape in December of last year. Earlier in the year McDonald was already under scrutiny over a domestic violence incident involving his fiancé at the time. However, no charges were filed for neither the domestic violence incident nor the sexual assault accusation. Unfortunately given the short time frame between the situations, all it took was for a media report stating McDonald was being investigated for sexual assault to make the 49ers organization release him. Although McDonald has not been officially charged with any crime, just the simple fact that there were “rumors” of him being involved in these acts have led him to be currently unemployed and receiving no interest from any team in the NFL. McDonald and his legal team believe the rape accusation is a major factor. The idea of the lawsuit is to show to the NFL & the 32 franchises that he has been falsely accused with hopes of one team to see his side of the story and give him an opportunity to continue his professional football career.
“I feel like what I am doing is the right thing because I know that I am not this bad person that people are making me out to be, I’ve been fired from my job. I know some teams don’t even want to talk to me because of this past accusation. All I am trying to do is clear my name and move on with my life.” -McDonald to Anderson.
Taking everything into consideration it is unfortunate that an individual is not able to continue his career essentially because they were accused of a crime. In the real world, unless an individual is unable to come to work, whether be because of jail time or court dates; it is highly unlikely that the company will not allow that individual to continue working. Unfortunately that isn’t how things work in the NFL. With so much attention over domestic violence this past year; teams & the league are doing anything they can to separate themselves from the controversy, even if that means cutting ties with an innocent man who was only “accused” but never “charged” with a specific crime. What makes McDonald’s situation more problematic is the fact that from a player standpoint, he isn’t what you consider a “Pro-Bowl Caliber Talent” like former Carolina Panther Greg Hardy. As a result, the decision to cut ties with McDonald was an easy decision for the 49ers to release a player who they more than likely felt was easily replaceable. The lack of support from the 49ers brass serves in stark contrast to a player like outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who is still on the team after being arrested multiple times ranging from DUI’s to illegal possession of an assault weapon. Smith has only been in the league 4 years and has already been suspended by the NFL & been admitted into a rehabilitation program. And yet McDonald is the one who is unemployed with a clean record. As unfair as it sounds that is just the reality of how the NFL operates in it’s hypocritical brilliance.