Domestic violence advocates said they plan to closely watch how San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald's case plays out in court, and how the National Football League will respond if the player is found guilty to a charge of felony domestic violence.
McDonald, 29, was taken into custody early Sunday after officers responded to a domestic violence incident at a home in an upscale neighborhood at the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive, according to San Jose police. He faces a felony charge of domestic violence.
"I'm very disappointed, especially after two or three days ago the announcement from the NFL that this would not be tolerated," said Kathleen Krenek, a domestic violence advocate.
Krenek is the executive director of Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence and has worked with victims of domestic violence for 30 years. She was shocked it took only three days for a player to be arrested on charges of domestic violence after the NFL rolled out stiffer punishments for the crime.
The change comes after outrage over the light punishment given to Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice, who was caught on tape beating his then-fiance. Rice received a two-game suspension from the league.
"They came out with a strong message a little bit late," Krenek said of the NFL. "But they did come out with a strong message. Now they need to follow it up."
NFL players will be subject to a six-week game suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second, according to the new rules.
"This is your opportunity to say this is not acceptable, we don't accept it, we don't condone it, and we are asking all men to think differently if they are hurting their partner," Krenek said.
Meanwhile, McDonald is out of custody after posting $25,000 bail.
So far, McDonald is not saying much about the incident.
"It's a crazy situation," McDonald said Sunday as he walked out of the jail less than 10 hours after his arrest.
McDonald's alleged victim may have been pregnant, sources told NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo.
He was apparently involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who had bruises on her arms and neck, according to the Sacramento Bee. 49ers teammates Vernon Davis and Demarcus Dobbs were also reportedly present, the Bee reported.
But McDonald maintained his innocence.
"The truth will come out," he said. "Everybody knows what kind of person I am."
McDonald is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 15.