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Domestic violence in the NFL: 49ers’ Ray McDonald arrested

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The new NFL tougher domestic violence policy doesn’t seem to have resonated just yet. The Sacramento Bee reported on Sunday, Aug. 31 that the San Francisco 49ers defensive end, Ray McDonald, 29, was arrested for a domestic violence incident that occurred in his San Jose home early Sunday morning.

The altercation between McDonald and his 10-week pregnant fiancee took place during a party that was being held in celebration of McDonald’s upcoming birthday. The police were called around 2:48 a.m. PT, and after McDonald’s fiancee showed police officers bruising on her neck and arms, the 49er was arrested. Mcdonald is being confined at Santa Clara Sheriff's Department with pending felony domestic violence charges.

Niners general manager Trent Baalke said, "The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald and we take such matters seriously. As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment.”

News of McDonald’s arrest comes shortly after the league announced changes to its Personal Conduct Policy which include tougher punishments in domestic violence cases. The reworking of the policy comes in part in response to the criticized Ray Rice case.

In February Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, was suspended for two games following a domestic violence incident with his then fiancee now wife, Janay Palmer. After striking Palmer, Rice was seen in surveillance footage dragging his seemingly unconscious partner out of a casino elevator.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recognized that he made a mistake in Rice’s punishment, and harsher punishments have been put in place for players as well as for NFL personnel. The penalties now include a six game suspension for first-time offenders, and a lifetime ban from the league for a second occurrence.

McDonald will be missed on the field. The defensive veteran has started all but three games since 2011, and is currently ranked second on his team in snaps, tackles and sacks. There is no word as to when McDonald will be released.

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