Even before McDonald’s encounter with the law, the 49ers already held the dubious distinction of leading the NFL in the number of player arrests.
So what does the decision to let McDonald play say about the 49ers?
"I think it says that winning is the most important thing, and they are not really that concerned about their image, or their corporate brand and the damage that might be done to it, or maybe about their female fan base," Killion said.
"I’m not saying Ray McDonald is guilty. Nobody knows," Killion said. "But in a lot of lines of work if you get arrested for something as serious as felony domestic abuse you’re put on an immediate leave of absence."
There is precedent for the team's decision to allow McDonald to suit up for Sunday's game.
"Last September Aldon Smith was arrested for drunk driving. Within a couple of hours he was bailed out of jail and back on the practice field and he played in a game two days later," Killion said. "That sent a terrible message that we don’t really care what’s going on with this guy. We’re paying him to win football games and we want him on the field and we want him to play."
Killion added, "It just seems a little tone deaf to put him out there on the field."
Harbaugh said repeatedly that McDonald has a right to due process under the Constitution. Similarly, N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell said that that the process needs to play out and all the facts need to be gathered before the team makes their decision. Are those valid points?
"Sports teams choose to sit people all the time for various reasons. Due process is a legal term. Your protections under the Constitution are from the government unfairly jailing you," Killion said. "We’re not talking about sending someone to jail. We’re talking about maybe sitting him out for a football game until everyone is sure what the information is at hand."