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NFL, 49er's Show True Colors When Dealing With Felons

09/03/2014 10:11 pm ET | Updated Nov 03, 2014
  • Gil Laroya Award-winning Silicon Valley product designer

It doesn't take much effort to look for, and find instance after instance of NFL players who get away with everything short of murder. And when it comes to who leads the league, the San Francisco 49er's are now all time leaders in teams having the most players with arrest records. Aldon Smith tops their charts with his multiple felonies, including substance abuse, felony assault weapons charges, and drunk driving through a school zone and wrecking his car into a nearby tree. Ray McDonald's felony arrest is for beating up his pregnant fiancee (yes, you read that right), and now the 49er's are showing first hand that they couldn't care less about employing proven felons on their team, as long as they have a chance of winning games, and the Yorks get their profits.

Following in the footsteps of the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders, it appears that the 49er's feel somehow left out of the running for felony players. It's either that, or else the 49er's feel like they don't carry enough "street cred" with fans who tip glasses of chardonnay instead of Budweisers, and so they have to up their toughness by having felons on board.

In a recent interview, 49er coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about why Aldon Smith was allowed to play just two days before heading to "rehab", and his response was "no comment". In a subsequent interview he was asked about Ray McDonald's impending court case on felony domestic violence, and whether McDonald would be allowed to play. Harbaugh's response was two sided. Side one -- We have a zero tolerance for domenstic violence. Side two -- We will let due process play itself out. The interview concluded with "Ray will probably play this coming Sunday". So much for zero tolerance.

Elsewhere in the league, Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice was actually caught on video beating the shit out of his wife -- another felony assault. His penalty -- he was not allowed to play two games of football. Boy, that's what anyone would call harsh punishment, right? The NFLs commissioner also sounded the same themer of "We do not tolerate domestic violence".

It wasn't until after public outcry from Rice's two game suspension, that the NFL decided that maybe they needed to get tougher. So, for Aldon Smiths MULTIPLE felonies, he got a "whopping" nine game suspension. Yet again the NFL and the 49er's proclaim their zero tolerance for domestic violence.

Clearly the NFL has devolved from the majestic, powerful sport it once was, into an "anything for a buck", felon-laiden money making scheme. They demonstrate time after time that criminals and felonies be damned, they are going to make money and win football games.

And I thought watching COPS gave me my share of watching felons in action...