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Pelosi: 49ers Should Have Benched Player Accused of Domestic Abuse

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the 49ers should not have let Ray McDonald play while he is being investigated for felony domestic violence

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the San Francisco 49ers should not have let defensive end Ray McDonald play on Sunday while he is being investigated for felony domestic violence involving his pregnant fiancé.

"No," Pelosi said Wednesday when asked if McDonald should have been able to play. "Now our coach says, innocent until proven guilty, due process and all of that, but the fact is he shouldn't have played."

Pelosi is an avid 49ers fan, and had to pay up on a bet she made with the Washington state congressional delegation in January when the Seattle Seahawks beat San Francisco in the NFC Championship game.

"We have to recognize that sports figures are in a special place in our country and young people look up to them as heroes in what they do," Pelosi said.

The 49ers have decided not to bench McDonald even as the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the Vikings benched Adrian Peterson for allegations and charges facing those players.

On Monday, 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that they would not be bending to public pressure in their decision to let McDonald play, saying "Our response would be: We have two principles at play here. One is respect for due process. And we're not going to flinch, based on public speculation."


-- Frank Thorp V