The 49ers have suspended radio play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson for the team’s next two games, punishment for comments he made earlier in the week about domestic violence while speaking on KNBR.
Soon after Wednesday’s announcement, the Pac-12 Network, for which Robinson also calls games, announced its own two-game suspension and that Robinson would undergo sensitivity training.
During the station’s Monday afternoon radio show, Robinson was critical of Janay Rice, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, for marrying Rice after he knocked her unconscious in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. Robinson called it “pathetic.”
“The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson on Monday were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization,” team President Paraag Marathe said in a statement. “We have made the decision to suspend him for the next two games. I informed Ted of our decision earlier today, and we will continue to address this matter with him internally. Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comments such as these.”
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Robinson’s comments on Monday immediately drew criticism on social media, including from Peter Hartlaub, the San Francisco Chronicle’s pop culture critic.
On this day, of all days, Ted Robinson on @KNBR shaming media, suggesting we all meekly trust 49ers internal review of Ray McDonald case.— Peter Hartlaub (@peterhartlaub) September 8, 2014
Ted Robinson literally just said Janay Rice's decision to marry Ray Rice and stand by him after the fact is pathetic. Said it twice.— LOL KNBR (@LOLKNBR) September 8, 2014
The 49ers also are dealing with a possible domestic violence case involving defensive end Ray McDonald, who was arrested Aug. 31 after police found “visible injuries” on his fiancée, who is 11 weeks pregnant. No charges have been filed.
Robinson has been the team’s play-by-play announcer since 2009. Last year, the 49ers announced a five-year contract extension for Robinson that runs through 2018.
“I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day,” Robinson said in a statement. “As a professional communicator, I am responsible for my words. My choice of words was careless and does not reflect my true feelings about domestic violence. I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility for domestic violence should ever be placed on a victim.”