Jim Harbaugh Speaks on Domestic Violence Following Ray McDonald's Arrest

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  The 49ers defeated the Cardinals 23-20.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh didn't back down from his strong stance against domestic violence following the arrest of defensive lineman Ray McDonald over the weekend.

Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area provided remarks Harbaugh made while appearing on The KNBR Morning Show in which he affirmed his zero-tolerance policy on the issue.     

"I'll be very clear," he said. "You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that. If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there's no understanding. There's no tolerance for that."

Harbaugh went on to say definitively that if anybody on his roster would be found guilty on charges stemming from domestic violence he would be let go. The coach also stated he couldn't shed light on the McDonald situation since it's a pending legal matter.

Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today reported the defensive end was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with felony domestic violence. He posted bail a short time later and is expected back in court on Sept. 15 for the next step in the process.

The report also notes the incident occurred just days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell laid out new plans for the league's handling of such matters. The regulations would put McDonald in line for a six-game ban should he be found guilty.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers runs onto the field for their game against the Detroit Lions at Candlestick Park on September 16, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

On the radio show, Harbaugh also explained he believes in the due process and won't jump to early conclusions.

"There are going to be two principles at play here," he said. "And one is, I'll speak for myself, I'll speak for the 49ers: We'll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle, we're firm believers in is due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles."

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk passed along comments McDonald made to KTVU following the arrest. He also asked people to wait for all the details.

"The truth will come out, you know. 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," he said.

Harbaugh's comments on the situation shouldn't come as a surprise. As Maiocco noted, former 49ers safety Donte Whitner shared what Harbaugh had to say in 2012 regarding his stance on domestic violence:

He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us except put our hands on women. If you put your hand on a woman then you’re done in his book. So other than putting your hands on women, you can do anything and come talk to him, and it’s true.

He has now made his stance on the subject crystal clear should a decision need to be made in the future regarding McDonald's spot on the team.

As for now, there's no timetable for a resolution to the McDonald case beyond the court date in about two weeks. More information should be available following that appearance. In the meantime, the 49ers continue their preparations for the new season.

The 49ers open their 2014-15 season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.