— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 31, 2017
A woman who was allegedly a victim of domestic violence at the hands of an NFL player is speaking out and blasting the NFL for a response to the incident that she felt was an effort to try to sweep it under the carpet.
In a detailed story on domestic violence and the NFL by Bleacher Report contributor Mary Pilon, Kendra Scott accused her then-fiancee, former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald, of hitting her on several occasions in the summer of 2014. In the story, which includes pictures of bruises on Scott’s face, Scott claimed that McDonald once dragged her out of bed in the middle of the night, and kneed her in the stomach while she was pregnant. (Scott Rosenblum, an attorney representing McDonald, “categorically denied” Scott’s allegations. “Mr. McDonald and this individual had basically reconciled and were continuing in an intimate relationship and these allegations did not start becoming this vitriolic and public until Mr. McDonald ended the relationship a few months ago,” Rosenblum said.)
Scott recalled the NFL’s response to her allegation: a two-page letter sent to her by an NFL consultant charged with looking into matters of sexual misconduct and domestic violence. The letter included a phone number, which Scott called. She claims the person who answered didn’t know anything about her case.
“It almost felt like a joke,” Scott said. “A letter? Really? This is how you guys handle this?”
According to Scott, it was all part of the league’s efforts to keep alleged domestic violence incidents quiet.
“They don’t want the negative publicity,” Scott said. “They don’t want the attention. They don’t want to be associated with that. But it is such a real issue. It happens all the time.”
McDonald was not suspended by the 49ers. He was released on Dec. 17, 2014, the same day he was accused of raping a different woman. Three months later, McDonald was signed by the Chicago Bears. Two months after that, he was arrested for violating a protective order against Scott. The Bears promptly released him.
To date, McDonald has yet to be convicted of any crime, although the protection order violation charge is still pending. McDonald is currently out of the league, but he was never suspended.
Scott believes it’s part of a larger pattern to keep such cases quiet.
“It’s such a hush-hush thing in the NFL,” Scott said. “There’s always an excuse.”
Watch above, via Bleacher Report, and read the full report examining the NFL’s handling of domestic violence cases here.
[featured image via screengrab]
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