On Monday, 49ers radio broadcaster Ted Robinson went on the team’s flagship station, KNBR-AM in San Francisco, and said some things about Ray Rice’s wife that he wishes he hadn’t. Ironically, Robinson will now serve a two-game suspension, similar to the penalty the NFL initially handed Rice (and for which the league was heavily criticized).
In discussing the controversy regarding former Ravens running back Ray Rice, Robinson said the victim, Rice’s wife, Janay, bore some of the responsibility for not speaking up after she was knocked unconscious by her then-fiancee.
“That, to me, is the saddest part of it,” Robinson said.
Robinson also said her decision to marry Rice after she was assaulted was “pathetic.”
Robinson subsequently released this statement: “I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day. 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 for domestic violence should ever be placed on a victim.”
49ers president Paraag Marathe had this to say: “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 also works for Pac-12 Networks, who suspended him for two weeks and arranged for him to get sensitivity training. That company’s president, Lydia Murphy-Stephans, released this statement: “Ted’s commentary on Monday was entirely unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to the core values of Pac-12 Networks. 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.”
Robinson has been a play-by-play announcer for the 49ers since 2009. He has also called games for the Giants, Athletics, Warriors and Stanford.