SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is joining the chorus of criticism over the team’s decision to allow Ray McDonald to play despite accusations of domestic violence.
Rice told Sports Illustrated in an interview Thursday that he agrees with another 49er great who has criticized the team over it handling of the affair.
“I think I’m just like Steve Young — I would have totally just taken him off the field until it’s resolved,” Rice told SI.com. “But they have decided to let him play, and it’s just unfortunate. I feel that when you have something that’s weighing you down like that, because it’s a very important topic, and it’s very sensitive, I just feel he should have been taken off the field.”
Other 49er greats, Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and former tight end Brent Jones have also publicly disagreed with the team’s decision to allow McDonald to play following his arrest.
McDonald has not been charged with a crime. 49ers CEO Jed York, General Manager Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh have all insisted that McDonald is entitled to due process before the team makes a decision on his status.
A storm of criticism has enveloped the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell over a series of violent off-field incidents involving marquee players such as Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy – along with the league’s response to the incidents.
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