Jef York says Ray McDonald, Ray Rice's cases are different

Once it became certain — a fact, even — that the NFL botched the handling of Ray Rice's domestic violence incident, the league has taken heat over two other recent players arrested for similar crimes.

One involves Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy. The other includes 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald.

As for McDonald, 49ers CEO Jed York has gone on the offensive to protect his player, even if it makes him look asinine.

“Ray McDonald is not Ray Rice,” York told the KNBR Morning Show in the San Francisco area. “And as a society we have a sense of saying, ‘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 that’s the country we live in. I don’t think that’s a fair way to approach it.

"I think you have to be very careful not to punish somebody that’s in a different situation than the last one and apply what happened in the last one to this one.”

York couldn't be more wrong. In delicate situations like this, it's better to be proactive than reactive. If authorities allege that McDonald beat his pregnant fiancee up, and there are bruises and other marks to prove it, then why should McDonald be allowed to play at this time? Sure, let the legal process play out. But it may be best to put a player on suspension — even with pay, if necessary — untill that process plays out. That's what happens in the regular working world when alleagations like this arise. And often times, the business place is not nearly as forgiving.

With the Ravens and the NFL, lest not forget that a grand jury raised simple assault charges to third degree felony assault charges in New Jersey. Before any video was released, Rice was alleged to have struck his now-wife, Janay Rice, in the head with his hand. But without a video, he got a two-game suspension. So yes, Mr. York, the correct tendency would be to ensure the next player charged with something similar gets a better punishment.

It's time for the NFL and each individual team to stop the nonsense and begin acting like an actual workplace.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt

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