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Harbaugh has ‘no tolerance’ for domestic abuse but will let legal process play out in McDonald case

09/02/2014 8:33 AM

10/08/2014 12:17 PM

Jim Harbaugh said there are two strongly held principles at work in the case involving defensive end Ray McDonald: His repulsion of domestic abuse, which he said he would not tolerate on his team, and his belief in due process of the law.

“I'll be very clear,” Harbaugh said on the Murph & Mac show on KNBR radio. “You're asking me how I feel about domestic violence, I can be very clear on that: If someone physically abuses a woman and or physically or mentally hurts a child, then there's no understanding, no tolerance for that.”

Host Brian Murphy then asked if it was a circumstance in which he wouldn't want the player on his team.

“Yes, yes,” Harbaugh said after a pause. “Would not. … It will not be tolerated. So you don't need to quote a source. I can tell you exactly, be perfectly clear how I feel about that.”

Still, Harbaugh said the legal process still needs to take place and to be “concluded” to make judgments on McDonald's situation. That implies that McDonald, arrested Sunday on suspicious of domestic abuse, will practice as usual this week as the 49ers prepare to play the Cowboys on Sunday. Today is the team’s first practice of the week.

McDonald was taken into custody early Sunday after a birthday party at his San Jose home. He turned 30 today. According to a police source, he got into an altercation with his fiancee, who is 10 weeks pregnant. When she showed police bruises on her arms and neck, McDonald was arrested amid the protest of partygoers, including two 49ers teammates, who were present.

His first court date is Sept. 15.

“The truth will come out, you know,” McDonald told KTVU news after posting bail Sunday. “I can’t say too much right now but the truth will come out. Everybody knows what kind of person I am. I’m a good-hearted person.”

Last week, amid an uproar over Ravens running back Ray Rice’s suspension for domestic violence, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell instituted harsher penalties for league employees involved in assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault. First-time offenders will receive a six-game suspension. A second offense results in a lifetime ban.

Rice, who plays for Harbaugh’s brother, John, was given a two-game suspension after strikng his then-fiancee in February. Surveillance cameras showed Rice dragging her out of a casino elevator, apparently unconscious, after the incident.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers .

About This Blog

Matt Barrows was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Sacramento Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green. Reach Barrows at mbarrows@sacbee.com.
Twitter: @mattbarrows

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