Ezra Shaw- Getty Images North America

The John Lynch era for the San Francisco 49ers seemed to have a no-nonsense approach when it came to disciplining players who got in trouble with the law. Tramaine Brock got released after being arrested for domestic violence though the charges were eventually dropped. An opportunity arose for the same thing to happen when linebacker Reuben Foster got charged with three felonies including one for domestic violence for an incident that happened in February.

It’s alleged that Foster dragged his girlfriend by the hair and threw her out of the house, struck her eight to 10 times and ruptured her ear drum.

Foster had already been in trouble for marijuana possession in Alabama in January. Fast forward a year and it’s not looking good for Lynch who traded up late in the first round to take the linebacker even after he got sent home from the combine for arguing with a hospital worker.

With the drug charges and marijuana charges the NFL will get involved. The league put out statement saying “we continue to monitor all developments in this matter which is under review of the personal conduct policy.”

The 49ers also said “Reuben is aware that his place in our organization is under great scrutiny and will depend on what is learned through the legal process.” Which is a much different tune then what got said in February.

Lynch stated “We’ve made it a part of our core principles, our core values, that we’re going to be transparent.” Doesn’t seem that way. What principles and values are getting shown here? Through the legal process it was found out what got alleged and it wasn’t pretty. It shows that the team values its star linebacker. That the wait and see approach only applies when it’s a big name? Brock didn’t seem to get that same benefit. Still there’s no question that when the NFL’s own investigation is over regardless of whether Foster gets convicted he will get disciplined severely.

What is unfortunate the 49ers’ leadership got the chance to show have far the league has come when this type of situation arises. Instead the entire league and its fans were let down as Foster wasn’t immediately released.


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