The Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday afternoon that they have deactivated running back Jonathan Dwyer for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. You can read the statement below. They reference a serious allegation, which, for those who haven't been paying attention, involves domestic violence. Reports indicated Dwyer was arrested for aggravated assault.
This moves the Ray McDonald situation firmly back into the spotlight. There were previous discussions Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson were each deactivated, and then later moved to the exempt list. Dwyer has not been moved to the exempt list, but will simply be one of the Cardinals 7 inactives on Sunday.
The Hardy and Peterson situations were definitively different from McDonald. Peterson was formally indicted, and of course there were the pictures of his son. Hardy was found guilty by a judge in a bench trial, and is currently appealing that conviction to a jury trial (a quirk of the North Carolina justice system). McDonald was arrested and booked for suspicion of felony domestic violence, but still has not been charged by the district attorney's office, as the police are still investigation.
The Dwyer situation comes a lot closer to McDonald's situation. We do not know if they are an exact apples-to-apples comparison, but the initial appearance is certainly similar. And as the game approaches, this means we will hear plenty about the 49ers decisions with Ray McDonald. They have been questioned by many, with numerous public officials in California expressing their opinion. I give a politician's opinion little to not real value, but it is further public sentiment, and it gets press.
The 49ers have dug their heels in on this, and seem intent on waiting for something to happen with the police and the DA's office. Whether it means they actually believe in due process for all players, or they simply believe Ray McDonald's story remains to be seen. I often think of the line from Animal Farm, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." I'd like to think the 49ers would handle this the same way whether it was Ray McDonald or somebody on the practice squad, but it is easy in this day and age to be a little skeptical.