Harbaugh: Domestic violence will not be tolerated

Harbaugh: Domestic violence will not be tolerated
September 2, 2014, 8:15 am
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I’ll speak for the 49ers: We’ll not tolerate domestic violence.
Jim Harbaugh

Coach Jim Harbaugh left no room for interpretation Tuesday on his radio show: He will not tolerate domestic violence.

“I’ll be very clear,” Harbaugh said on the KNBR Morning Show. “You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that. If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there’s no understanding. There’s no tolerance for that.”

When asked if he would not allow a player guilty of domestic violence on his team, Harbaugh answered, “Yes, we would not. We can be very clear.”

Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested by San Jose Police early Sunday morning and taken into custody on felony charges of domestic violence. General manager Trent Baalke said in a statement the 49ers are still gathering facts about the case. McDonald can continue to practice with the team as the 49ers prepare for the season opener on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

“There are going to be two principles at play here,” Harbaugh said “And one is, I’ll speak for myself, I’ll speak for the 49ers: We’ll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle, we’re firm believers in is due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles."

Harbaugh said he did not know the details of any police investigation. McDonald was released from Santa Clara County Jail on Sunday morning on $25,000 bail.

[RELATED: McDonald arrested]

“This is a legal matter, and I’m not here to tell you what happened because I don’t know,” Harbaugh said. “And I think we all owe, to everyone involved, the ability for due process to take place. All the questions you could ask me, I understand why you’re asking, but this is a process that has to conducted, has to be concluded, and then we’ll be in a better place in time to have this discussion and/or make judgments.”

During Harbaugh’s first season with 49ers in 2012, safety Donte Whitner revealed what Harbaugh told the team about the issue.

“He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us except put our hands on women,” Whitner said. “If you put your hand on a woman then you’re done in his book. So other than putting your hands on women, you can do anything and come talk to him, and it’s true.”

Harbaugh unequivocally confirmed that stance.

“You don’t need a source to know how I feel,” he said. “I’m strongly opposed to domestic violence or violence to children, yes. It will not be tolerated.”