Football / Sports

Jim Harbaugh: No tolerance for domestic violence; won't rush to judge McDonald

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coach Jim Harbaugh spoke out Tuesday morning against domestic violence while also cautioning any rush to judgment on 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald, who was arrested early Sunday for felony domestic violence.

"There's going to be two principles at play here," Harbaugh said on his KNBR 680-AM segment. "One is, I'll speak for myself and I'll speak for the 49ers, we'll not tolerate domestic violence.

"The second principle is going to be: we're firm believers in due process, and I ask for your understanding in those two principles."

Harbaugh said he would not want any person guilty of such deeds to play on his team. He did not rule out McDonald from practicing Tuesday with the 49ers in advance of Sunday's season opener against the host Dallas Cowboys.

Harbaugh is the first member of the 49ers organization to field questions publicly after McDonald's arrest.

Harbaugh made clear his stance on domestic violence: "If someone physically abuses a woman and or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, there's no understanding, there's no tolerance for that."

McDonald, who turned 30 on Tuesday, was hosting a party at his home in San Jose's Silver Creek neighborhood when San Jose police arrived at 2:48 a.m. Sunday. According to police-dispatch audio, McDonald's fiancee claimed he was "hitting her" and "was trying to pull her out of the house. She's 10 weeks pregnant and refusing medical."

McDonald was booked into Santa Clara County jail at 5:30 a.m., and he was released six hours later after posting $25,000 bail. His first court date is Sept. 15.

"This is a legal matter. I'm not here to tell you what happened because I don't know,' Harbaugh said. "We all owe, to everyone involved, the ability for due process to take place. This is a process that has to be conducted, has to be concluded, and then we'll be in a better place to have this discussion and/or make judgments."

McDonald is entering his eighth season with the 49ers, who selected him in the third round of the 2007 draft out of Florida. He's started all but three games since breaking into the lineup in 2011. He has never made the Pro Bowl.

The 49ers have had players arrested an NFL-high 10 times since 2012.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make sure there isn't a pattern forming," Harbaugh said. "I as a coach, the organization, the other coaches, have made it a point and we'll continue to make it a point of emphasis of good conduct 100 percent of the time. We believe it's personal, we believe it's part of our responsibility."

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