Broadcaster suspended after Ray Rice remarks deemed insensitive

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49ers Suspend Ted Robinson Over Controversial Comments On Ray Rice Case


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers suspended veteran broadcaster Ted Robinson on Wednesday night for the next two games following comments this week on a San Francisco radio station about the Ray Rice domestic violence case that were deemed insensitive.

The Pac-12 Networks also announced late Wednesday it had suspended Robinson for the next two weeks and that he would undergo sensitivity training. The 57-year-old Robinson spoke while co-hosting on KNBR radio Monday and said Rice's now-wife, Janay, was partly to blame for not speaking up.

"That, to me, is the saddest part of it," he said.

The issue of domestic violence is particularly sensitive for the 49ers, who recently had one of their players arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Defensive tackle Ray McDonald has continued to practice and play since his Aug. 31 arrest while celebrating his 30th birthday with friends and teammates at his home. CEO Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh have said they will let "due process" play out before making a decision about McDonald, while reiterating they have zero tolerance for domestic violence.

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Broadcaster suspended after Ray Rice remarks deemed insensitive
Former tennis players Andre Agassi, left, and John McEnroe, right, watch the match between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick with broadcaster Ted Robinson at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
NEW YORK -AUGUST 25: USA Network broadcaster Ted Robinson, USA Network President Doug Herzog and broadcaster Tracy Austin attends USA Network's opening night party of the 2003 U.S. Open at Aces Restaurant, Arthur Ashe Stadium, August 25, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
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Robinson issued apologies through the 49ers and Pac-12 Networks.

"I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day," Robinson said. "As a professional communicator, I am responsible for my words. My choice of words was careless and does not reflect my true feelings about domestic violence. I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility should ever be placed on a victim."

In a statement, 49ers President Paraag Marathe said he told Robinson of the decision earlier Wednesday.

"The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson on Monday were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization. We have made the decision to suspend him for the next two games. I informed Ted of our decision earlier today, and we will continue to address this matter with him internally. Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comments such as these."

Robinson, the 49ers' play-by-play voice since 2009, signed a five-year contract extension in May 2013 that takes him through the 2018 season. He will not call the team's home opener Sunday night against the Bears, the regular-season debut at new $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium.

His first game back would be when San Francisco hosts Philadelphia on Sept. 28.

The Pac-12 Networks said Robinson wouldn't call games for two weeks.

"Ted's commentary on Monday was entirely unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to the core values of Pac-12 Networks," Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans said. "We value Ted as a member of our team, but see this as an important learning opportunity as we work with him through sensitivity training before welcoming him back to our air."


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