49ers owner wants to give McDonald 'due process'

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Ray McDonald - 49ers Player - domestic violence
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49ers owner wants to give McDonald 'due process'
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 21: Defensive end Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers on the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49er defensive end Ray McDonald is seen in an undated photo provided by the San Jose Police Department. McDonald, 29, was arrested early Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 by San Jose Police on felony domestic violence charges. San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol says McDonald was taken into custody after officers responded to a home in an upscale neighborhood. (AP Photo/San Jose Police Department)
San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald, center, speaks to reporters after NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, July 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Defensive end Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up before their game against the Chicago Bears at Levi's Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 24: CEO Jed York of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the field prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Levi Stadium on August 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Chargers 21-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 17: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers sits with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and 49ers CEO Jed York during the the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Levi Stadium on July 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the field prior to the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on August 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. The 49ers defeated the Texans 40-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates with Ray McDonald after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, in Atlanta. The 49ers won 28-24 to advance to Super Bowl XLVII. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) tackles Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) as the 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith, right, grabs Rodgers while fighting against the Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch carries the ball as San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) tries to make the stop in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in San Francisco. At left is San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid (35) and at right is Seattle Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy (64). (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, center, carries the ball past San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald, left, and San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner, right, in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) and defensive tackle Ray McDonald (91) celebrate during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99), defensive end Ray McDonald (91) and Ahmad Brooks (55) celebrate after Brooks sacked Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2014, file photo, San Francisco 49ers' Ray McDonald sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, that he will let "due process take its course" before deciding whether to discipline Ray McDonald after the defensive tackle was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. In his first public comments since McDonald's arrest Aug. 31, York told San Francisco's KNBR radio that he will not punish McDonald until he sees "evidence that it should be done or before an entire legal police investigation shows us something." (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald warms up before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Justin Smith #94, Ray McDonald #91 and Ian Williams #93 during the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the 49ers 42-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 02: Austin Davis #9 of the St. Louis Rams is chased out of the pocket by Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 14: Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers heads to the field prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 23-14. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 7: Justin Smith #94, Ray McDonald #91 and Ian Williams #93 of the San Francisco 49ers sit on the bench during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 28-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 24: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Ray McDonald #91 during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Levi Stadium on August 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Chargers 21-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Tuesday that he will let "due process take its course" before deciding whether to discipline Ray McDonald after the defensive tackle was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.

In his first public comments since McDonald's arrest Aug. 31, York told San Francisco's KNBR radio that he will not punish McDonald until he sees "evidence that it should be done or before an entire legal police investigation shows us something."

"I would much rather take shots at my reputation than to put somebody down and judge them before an entire investigation has taken place," York told the radio station.

York's comments echoed many of the remarks made by 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke in the last two weeks. He reiterated that the team will not tolerate domestic violence and he considers McDonald's arrest serious, however, he repeatedly said he will not act until the investigation is completed.

"I'm comfortable if my reputation is going to take shots throughout this process," York said. "But my character is I will not punish somebody until we see evidence that it should be done or before an entire legal police investigation shows us something."

How Rice Fallout Impacts the 49ers

McDonald practiced all of last week and started in San Francisco's 28-17 win at Dallas on Sunday.

Public pressure has been building on the 49ers to sit McDonald down while prosecutors decide whether to charge him. The uproar escalated Monday following TMZ's release of new video showing Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator.

The running back has been released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL, which initially suspended Rice two games.

York stressed that the public should not lump McDonald and Rice together just because both were arrested on domestic violence charges.

"Each case is its own separate case. Ray McDonald is not Ray Rice," York said. "And if there's another one, it's not the same as the previous. Each case is its own individual entity. And as a society, we have a sense of saying, `Well, you didn't do it right with Ray Rice right away so you need to overdo it with Ray McDonald or whoever else it is.' And I don't believe that's the country that we live in. I don't think that's a fair way to approach it."

McDonald is out on $25,000 bail following his arrest at his San Jose home where he was celebrating his 30th birthday with teammates and friends.

San Jose police have released few details surrounding McDonald's arrest, only saying that officers at the scene saw the alleged victim with "visible injuries." McDonald's arrest came just days after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including a six-week suspension for a first offense and at least a year for a second.

Asked about Goodell's handling of Rice's situation and if he should be reprimanded by owners, York said "it was obviously acknowledged that it was bungled by the league, and they came back and corrected it. Ray didn't take the field in the regular season. He was already down. They suspended him for the year. Could it have happened sooner? I don't understand the video, what was seen, when it was seen, how it wasn't seen. I don't know the answers to that."

York said he hadn't spoken publicly about McDonald's arrest until now because the 49ers speak in "one voice." He said his views were expressed earlier by Harbaugh and Baalke, and he felt that was enough.

With multiple arrests in the past few years, York admitted the 49ers "haven't lived up to that expectation" of acting in a responsible way off the field. He said the team is doing everything it can to make changes.

As far as enforcing discipline, though, York cited flaws in the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players' union.

"We certainly need to take a very hard look at ourselves as a league and figure out a better way to do this," York said. "Coming back to Ray McDonald, we've got a collective bargaining agreement in place that makes it difficult for the teams to take an action, for the league to take action. We need to set any negotiating aside and figure if there's a better way through collective bargaining and through everything to look at domestic violence."

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