49ers release Ray McDonald amid sexual assault allegations

Story highlights

  • Ray McDonald has "demonstrated a pattern of poor decision-making," says team's GM
  • A search warrant is served at the home of defensive end
  • McDonald has not been charged, and no arrest has been made
  • The NFL recently updated its personal conduct policy after high-profile incidents
The San Francisco 49ers released defensive end Ray McDonald on Wednesday amid allegations of sexual assault.
"While this organization has a strong belief in due process and has demonstrated that over time, Ray has demonstrated a pattern of poor decision-making that has led to multiple distractions for this organization and this football team that can no longer be tolerated," General Manager Trent Baalke said in a statement.
According to San Jose Police, a search warrant has been served at McDonald's home to investigate the allegations.
No arrests have been made, and McDonald has not been charged.
The NFL, which announced revisions to its personal conduct policy on December 10, confirmed it will investigate.
"We are looking into it," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said to CNN.
The San Jose Police Department said that on Tuesday, it received a call from a hospital regarding a possible sexual assault victim who was receiving treatment. The victim alleged she was possibly sexually assaulted the day before. The preliminary investigation revealed the alleged suspect was McDonald.
Last month, the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office decided it did not have enough evidence to charge McDonald in a domestic violence case against his pregnant fiancee. McDonald was arrested August 31 in that alleged incident, just days after the NFL had once again updated its personal conduct policy in response to criticism on how the league handled the discipline for then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
The investigations section under the updated NFL personal conduct policy includes this language concerning a potential violation: "Whenever the league office becomes aware of a possible violation of the Personal Conduct Policy, it will undertake an investigation, the timing and scope of which will be based upon the particular circumstances of the matter.
"Any such investigation may be conducted by NFL Security, independent parties, or by a combination of the two. In cases that are also being investigated by law enforcement, the league will work to cooperate with and to avoid any conflict or interference with the law enforcement proceedings."