It is said quite often that people deserve second chances, but the truth is that not everyone should actually get a second chance.
Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald was released Monday by the team after his latest arrest in Santa Clara, California on a domestic violence charge and a separate charge of child endangerment.
Santa Clara police officers responded early Monday morning to a disturbance call. According to the victim, McDonald allegedly assaulted her while she was carrying a baby. When police arrived, McDonald was nowhere to be found but was later tracked down and arrested in San Jose just hours later.
McDonald, 30, previously played eight seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. In August of last year, McDonald was accused of domestic violence. In December of that same year, McDonald was accused of sexual assault. The 49ers had released him after getting word of the sexual assault allegations.
This past April, the NFL released a statement based on the investigation into McDonald. In the statement, the NFL claimed that McDonald didn’t violate the personal-conduct policy in the domestic violence incident last August. The sexual assault case against McDonald is still ongoing. Recently, McDonald stated that he was innocent in both incidents and that his image was damaged as a result of them.
Bears Owner George McCaskey initially felt that McDonald shouldn’t be signed to the team but relied on the supposedly better judgment of General Manager Ryan Pace.
Timeline of Events
Here is a quick recap of the events leading up to McDonald’s latest release:
- August 2014: McDonald is accused of domestic violence.
- December 2014: McDonald is accused of sexual assault; he is released by the 49ers on the same day.
- April 2015: NFL concludes that McDonald didn’t violate personal-conduct policy.
- May 2015: McDonald is arrested on domestic violence and child endangerment charges; he is released by the Bears on the same day
McDonald has racked up a combined 210 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 interception in his eight-year NFL career. He was obviously talented and a key piece on the 49ers’ defensive line. However, as many of us sports fans know, talent alone will only get an athlete so far in his/her sport. Along with talent, you need discipline – knowledge of how to handle yourself like a professional on and off the playing field. McDonald was given a second chance to prove that he had just that. Now, he will be stuck in the free-agency market for a while and will likely be forced to retire.
This is yet another story of an athlete having the chance to live his/her dream and throwing it away because of a lack of discipline – a terrible shame really.