In an era of flea-sized attention spans, news stories tend to peter out after a couple of days. The story of domestic abuse and the NFL, however, has had rare staying power, which should be expected when a different player gets in trouble every few days.
Jim Harbaugh has been asked about the 49ers' case involving Ray McDonald during nearly every press conference he's had in the last 18 days. Today a reporter from CNN asked Vic Fangio a series of questions about the team's stance on playing an arrested player despite Fangio's responses that those decisions aren't typically made by a team's defensive coordinator.
Q: Can I ask you about 49ers broadcaster Ted Robinson? Why did the team decide to have him not do play-by-play for two games, but not take a similar move with McDonald?
VF: “I don’t know. I’m not involved in those decisions. I’m the defensive coordinator, not the owner, not the general manager.”
Q: Even with congresswoman Nancy Pelosi making a comment that the team should--?
VF: “I’ve got no comment on that, obviously.”
Pelosi, Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome all have called for the 49ers to sit McDonald while the investigation into domestic violence allegations continues. They have been joined by two prominent ex 49ers, Steve Young and receiver Jerry Rice.
Rice told Si.com, “When you have something that's weighing you down like that, and because it's a very important topic. It's very sensitive. I just feel he should have been taken off the field."
The 49ers, meanwhile, haven't wavered in their stance to treat McDonald like any other member of the team while the legal process plays out.
“So I’m clear, McDonald is definitely playing this Sunday?” the CNN reporter asked.
“To my knowledge he is,” Fangio said.