Our Pledge To You

News

Bears’ signing of Ray McDonald says winning more important than decency

You know why men beat up women?

Because they can.

That might sound flippant, but it’s not. It’s fact. It’s real. For the twisted, it rules.

A guy such as defensive end Ray McDonald, who stands 6-3 and weighs 290 pounds, has little to fear from any unarmed woman. So whatever goes on in his mind before the abuse occurs, simple fear for his own safety isn’t a factor.

McDonald, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers in December after he was accused of domestic violence against a woman twice in the previous seven months, has been picked up by the Bears in a move that shows high-minded moral talk is nice, but kicking the crap out of the other team’s quarterback is nicer.

‘‘It’s a one-year, ‘prove-it’ deal,’’ Bears general manager Ryan Pace said.

As if that makes everything OK.

In a world hyper-aware of the prevalence and wrongness of men beating up women — and, yes, children (ask the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson) — the message the signing of McDonald sends is way louder than the popping of pads or ruckus he will cause in the football pit next season.

It screams, ‘‘Hypocrisy!’’

Then again, we already knew that, didn’t we? McDonald might have
been 2-0 against women, but he also had 39 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble in 14 games last season. You could say he bull-rushed his way to purity.

And we know that football has been morphing for decades from a violent, semi-sane sport into a fireball of pure chaos, one that is more brutish than almost anything but war. To be in the middle of the mayhem might indicate from the get-go that the participants are barely stable and wildly inflamed with the desire to hurt.

Think of Ndamukong Suh, the former Detroit Lions defensive lineman. He was — is — such a values-free brute afield that he thought nothing of stomping on a star quarterback’s injured calf, kicking another one in the groin or cleating an offensive lineman’s arm after grinding his head into the ground.

And what was Suh’s reward for this subhuman behavior? A six-year,
$114 million contract from the Miami Dolphins, the most lucrative deal in NFL history for a defensive player.

You see how this goes? When all the blather is done, all anybody cares about is whether his or her team is going to win. Not with whom, only how.

And if McDonald, who flew to Chicago on his own dime and pleaded his case to Pace and the McCaskey family, can make the Bears, say, crush the Green Bay Packers, then who cares about those careless women who allegedly got in the way of his rage?

Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio coached McDonald with the 49ers, and he apparently vouched for the player’s — what? — integrity? Social skills? Good citizenship?

Nah. Fangio assuredly said that McDonald could shore up one side of the Bears’ 3-4 defense and that he thinks the team can keep him out of jail and away from a possible NFL suspension, at least for a year.

And president George McCaskey became so enthralled and such a believer that he signed off on it. And he went to his mom, Virginia McCaskey, and that good woman — who prays daily and should be a role model for all women trying to bust the corporate glass ceiling — said OK, too.

In one of the domestic-violence incidents, it seems the abused woman might have struck McDonald first. See, that can happen. And if women were bigger and stronger than men, there would be a lot of those sorts of crimes out there, too. Being brutally aggressive isn’t just a guy thing.

But except for muscular soccer goalie Hope Solo and blood artist Ronda Rousey, there aren’t too many women who would stand a chance against an NFL player. And I take that back about Solo, who once brawled with her teen nephew. She allegedly was abused by her husband, former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, before they were wed.

‘‘Everything we do in our business, every decision I make, there’s risk involved,’’ Pace said.

The McDonald risk is twofold. One: The guy goes off and attacks a woman again. Two: The message sent by the Bears about domestic violence is an ugly, shameful one.

Second chances don’t mean getting a second chance. In the NFL, they mean getting a new chance in our town. Hell, it may be a 15th chance. But what can you do for us?

It never ceases to amaze me that former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who was accused of murder but plea-bargained to an obstruction-of-justice charge in exchange for testifying against two pals, somehow morphed into the heart and soul of the NFL. Right into the Hall of Fame he went. Right into broadcasting.

And the bloody knife is still out there.

So, welcome, Ray McDonald!

Former Ravens running back Ray Rice is out of the league because you’re screwed if you’re caught on video hitting your fiancée in the jaw with a right cross. Hard to fight that. Even the Bears have stayed away from Rice.

Yep, there’s rebirth for just about everyone, and ethics don’t mean a thing if you can plug the gaps and rush the quarterback.

The Bears sent receiver Brandon Marshall away because he was a locker-room nightmare. Hope you’re good in the locker room, Ray. There are generally no women in there.

Email: rtelander@suntimes.com
Twitter: @ricktelander