This is the last thing I wanted to write. For more reasons than one, I hate the injustice of giving someone with now-multiple domestic violence accusations any inches longer than the three that is my middle finger.
But here we are, a day after Ray McDonald was cut by the Chicago Bears for once again being accused of domestic violence. For Ray McDonald, this is nothing new – and it’s something he’ll have to deal with legally. That’s all there really is to say about Ray McDonald.
However, the Chicago Bears front office made a mistake that they should own up to, or at least be held accountable for. That’s what I’m more concerned about.
How many times are we going to see this before someone steps in and punishes NFL teams for taking chances on players with checkered pasts? Why are these teams not being held accountable for taking the risk on players with questionable (at best) behavior off the field?
It’d be safe to say there’s a huge culture problem in the NFL, but after last season’s PR nightmare, you probably already knew that. The real problem is that we have zero way of ensuring NFL teams won’t give somebody like Ray McDonald a chance to keep his career without repercussion.
At the end of the day, a spade is a spade. We’re going to continue living in a culture wherein the team values a player’s worth on the field over their character off of it. That’s the only reason the Chicago Bears were in the position to cut Ray McDonald yesterday. Because to them, McDonald’s potential impact on the field is worth more than the potential headache off of it.
And why wouldn’t it be? For all intents and purposes, the Bears will move on from Ray McDonald like they never even signed him – and their only consequence is a few bad headlines. Of course, at the time of his signing, we were all told that McDonald had “changed” and sold George McCaskey on that before the team signed him.
Bullshit. That’s just PR protocol so half of your fan base thinks you did your homework. But in reality, the Bears took a chance on Ray McDonald because they needed a defensive lineman. If he did get in trouble again, no big deal.
And that’s the biggest deal of all.