Ray McDonald

The San Francisco 49ers released starting defensive lineman Ray McDonald on Wednesday (Dec. 17), shortly after reports surfaced that he’s being investigated for sexual assault, reports the New York Times.

General Manager Trent Baalke held a news conference to make the announcement, saying the decision to drop the 30-year-old player was not solely based on the latest investigation, but instead due to a “pattern of poor decision making.”

“While this organization has a strong belief in due process and has demonstrated that over time, Ray has demonstrated a pattern of poor decision making that has led to multiple distractions for the organization and this football team that really can no longer be tolerated.”

On August 31, McDonald was accused of  domestic violence against his fiancé, but the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office said that there was not enough evidence to file charges.

Baalke has stated that a “plan was put in place” with Ray and the alleged rape case went “against that plan.”