In December 2014, former NFL player Ray McDonald, then a member of the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested on sexual assault charges. Facing allegations that he raped an intoxicated woman at his home, the franchise immediately cut McDonald from the team. The Chicago Bears decided to take a chance on the 7-year NFL veteran, signing him to a 1-year deal in March of 2015. Two months later, the Bears also cut him after he was arrested on domestic violence and child endangerment charges.
Still facing the rape case, to which he has pled not guilty, McDonald was recently invited to be a guest speaker at Tennyson High School located in the Bay Area this past February. The purpose of his visit was to offer advice to at-risk students, urging them to get on the right path. Famed attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing McDonald’s accuser, went on the offensive, as she and her client were infuriated with the school’s decision to have the former athlete as a speaker, calling it “highly inappropriate.”
In a letter written to the superintendent of the school district, Allred suggests that McDonald spoke at the school with ulterior motives.
It may be that Mr. McDonald through his appearance and speech to your students was seeking to have a positive impact on the potential jury pool in his upcoming criminal trial. I wonder, however, why you would appear to be amendable to supporting him in this strategy if indeed that was his goal.
Feeling that the school might be having a difficult time finding positive role models to speak to school children, Allred felt that she would be the ideal candidate for such a role.
I would be willing to serve as a speaker on these subjects if you would be willing to invite me.
McDonald is scheduled to go on trial in April.