Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, has a solution for the NFL’s domestic violence crisis and it doesn’t involve hiring women to address the issue or marching out team leaders to repeat the mantra that “we’re going to get it right.”
Naturally, the son of the late Al Davis came up with a solution that manages to tweak the team across the bay, the San Francisco 49ers, too.
“In my mind, if somebody’s accused or arrested in a domestic-violence case, they should be suspended with pay,” Davis told MercuryNews.com. “I want to make sure it fits the legalities and with what the union wants, but I just think that’s the only that makes sense for us now.”
The “accused” part of Davis’ suggestion presents a slippery slope, but there is an inconsistency in how teams deal with players involved in domestic violence. The Minnesota Vikings placed Adrian Peterson on the exempt commissioner’s list after his arrest on a child abuse charge; the Carolina Panthers placed Greg Hardy on the same list while the appeal of his conviction for assaulting and communicating a threat to kill his ex-girlfriend. On Wednesday, the Arizona Cardinals deactivated Jonathan Dwyer after his arrest on suspicion of aggravated assault on his wife and on suspicion of aggravated assault involving his 1-year-old son.
Meanwhile, the 49ers’ Ray McDonald remains on the active roster after his domestic-violence arrest Aug. 31. The 49ers have said they will allow the legal process to unfold before disciplining McDonald.
“I see what the 49ers and [owner] Jed [York] are going through and what they’re saying, ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ and that’s the American way,” Davis said. “But I think we have to get this right, and suspension with pay in those cases [while the investigation moves forward] is the only thing that makes sense to me right now.”
Davis’ father had spirited battles with the league office, but Davis said he supports Roger Goodell, whose is under fire.
“He’s dealing with something we haven’t experienced before at this level. We’re all dealing with this. We’re all trying to figure out how to get this right,” he said, echoing the Panthers’ and Vikings’ “get it right” talking point. “He made a decision, admitted he made a mistake [with the original Ray Rice two-game suspension], and he tried to go back and correct it. Yeah, I definitely support him.”
And, besides. “Do you know how long it’d take to get a new commissioner up to speed on all our league issues?”