The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Bears Finally Release Ray McDonald Following More Domestic Violence Accusations

By Jim Bochnowski in News on May 26, 2015 7:00PM

Ray McDonald during a San Francisco 49ers game against the Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

After yet another domestic violence-related arrest, the Chicago Bears released "troubled" defensive lineman Ray McDonald late yesterday.

The Chicago Bears front office has repeatedly described McDonald as a "changed man" who deserved a "second chance," even though he had been arrested twice on violent crime charges since last August. He was previously accused of felony domestic assault in August and sexual assault in December, which led the 49ers to release him, citing a "pattern of poor decision-making."

As one might expect, serial abusers who have suffered no actual penalty for their crimes have no actual cause to change their behavior. And so it came as no surprise to me when McDonald was arrested on Memorial Day.

According to police reports, McDonald assaulted a woman who was holding a baby at his Northern California apartment around 3:45 a.m. He allegedly fled the scene and was arrested later at a former teammate's apartment. He was charged with domestic violence and child endangerment.

According to NFL reporter Jay Glazer, the Bears had given McDonald very strict behavioral standards prior to McDonald's signing. The Bears moved quickly to release him, with new General Manager Ryan Pace issuing a statement that read:

"We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear. He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

Of course, that statement flies in the face of the giant steps the Bears took in justifying his signing in the first place. George McCaskey, the Bears' Chairman, initially told his general manager that he wouldn't sign McDonald. Then, McCaskey was impressed that McDonald took the initiative to fly himself to Chicago for an interview—because it is amazing that a wealthy man was able to buy a plane ticket from San Francisco to Chicago?

The Bears then conducted interviews with a number of individuals close to McDonald, including his parents and college coach, who all spoke highly of him. Notably, they refused to talk to those who accused McDonald of violence, because "there's a certain amount of discounting in what they have to say." The team finally left the decision up to nonagenarian owner Virginia McCaskey, who gave the whole thing her blessing.

So in conclusion, the entire Bears organization, knowing of Ray McDonald's pattern of behavior, decided to take an unnecessary risk on an aging player who wasn't able to last with the team more than two months. Everyone involved in the decision-making process should be burdened with this guilt, but I'm almost certain they don't care. The organization shouldn't be congratulated for making one good decision after so many poor ones, even if they clearly want us to.

At least offensive lineman Kyle Long sums up my thoughts: