49ers

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster charged with felony domestic violence

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster charged with felony domestic violence

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was officially charged with felony domestic violence stemming from his February arrest after an incident involving his live-in girlfriend, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office announced Thursday morning.

Foster, 24, physically attacked the 28-year-old woman during an argument at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with a ruptured ear drum, according to the DA’s office. Foster is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

According to the DA’s office, Foster faces felony charges of domestic violence with an allegation "he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.” All are felony charges. Foster is also charged with misdemeanor possession of a large capacity weapon magazine.

If convicted, Foster faces more than 11 years in prison, according to the DA’s office.

“Our focus is on holding accountable those who hurt their intimate partners,” prosecutor Kevin Smith said in a statement. “Our office handles between 4,000 and 5,000 domestic violence cases each year. We only hope that this case illuminates the tragic regularity of the rest.”

According to the DA’s office, the alleged victim flagged down a stranger’s car driving on Shannon Road to call police on Feb. 11. She told responding sheriff’s deputies and Los Gatos police that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times.

The alleged victim was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for her injuries, and released, according to the DA’s report. In a subsequent search of Foster’s home, officers found a Sig Sauer 516 and a large capacity magazine. Both are illegal to possess in California. Foster was taken into custody and released on $75,000 bail.

Foster, a first-round draft pick of the 49ers a year ago, could also face discipline from the NFL under the league’s policies on personal conduct and substances of abuses.

Among the prohibited conduct stated in the policy: “Actual or threatened physical violence against another person, including dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse, and other forms of family violence.”

Said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, "We continue to monitor all developments in this matter, which is under review of the personal conduct policy."

It was Foster’s second arrest in the first two months after the completion of his rookie season. Foster was arrested in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for second-degree possession of marijuana. His next scheduled court date in Alabama is May 2.

Jed York, 49ers CEO, acknowledged recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Florida, during an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area and The Athletic that Foster is running out of chances.

“We’d love Reuben to be on this team,” York said. “And we’d love him to participate for us, but if he’s not doing things off the field that allow us to be able to rely on him – or he’s doing something that we’re not comfortable with off the field and it’s proven that’s what’s going on, I think the guys have said, then you’re just going to have to move on.”

York admitted the 49ers have made some judgment errors in the past before the arrivals of general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald and Bruce Miller were released after multiple run-ins with the law.

The 49ers released Tramaine Brock last spring – shortly after Lynch and Shanahan were hired -- just hours after he was arrested for alleged domestic violence. Two months after the alleged incident, the DA’s office filed felony charges against Brock. But two months after that, the case was dismissed and Brock was cleared of all charges due to insufficient evidence when the alleged victim refused to cooperate with authorities, according to the DA’s office.

“I think everything has to be case-by-case because no incident is the same and no situation is the same,” York said. “I think we have certainly made mistakes in the past because we’ve been too lenient.”

The 49ers’ first scheduled activity since the end of last season is Monday, when the club is scheduled to report for the opening of the nine-week offseason training program. Foster's status with the organization remains unclear. The 49ers did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the Santa Clara County DA office's announcement.

York said he has not spoken with Foster this offseason, but Lynch and Shanahan have been in regular contact with him.

“From my conversations with John and Kyle, I know Reuben is very cognizant of where his position is right now, and his time with the 49ers could potentially be over if he continues to do things outside of the team that aren’t what we want him to be a part of,” York said.

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

AMSTERDAM — Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice that launched a sports movement and might have cost him his job.

Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings.

"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" he said at Saturday's award ceremony.

Other players joined his protest in the 2016 season, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players.

In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan.

Kaepernick wasn't signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco.

Reid, a safety who is now a free agent, continued Kaepernick's protests by kneeling during the anthem last season. Reid has said he will take a different approach in 2018.

Kaepernick paid tribute to his friend for his own role in the protest movement.

"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy," Kaepernick said. "But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career."

Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization, "dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others."

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick "an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination."

Previous recipients of the award include anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African President Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls' right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

"In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force," Kaepernick said.

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

The 49ers have their starting and backup quarterbacks on the roster for at least the next three seasons. That luxury opens up their draft options to concentrate on other areas.

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen could be selected within the first eight picks of the draft. If those four quarterbacks are chosen, it means the 49ers will get – at worst – the fifth-ranked player on their draft board.

And if there is still one of those quarterbacks available when the 49ers go on the clock at No. 9 overall, it invites the possibility of a trade-back option.

The 49ers could trade back and still get one of the five players – Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport – highlighted as first-round draft options.

But if the 49ers move further back or acquire an additional pick in the first round, here are some of their options...

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The 49ers must start thinking about a time when two new offensive tackles are going to be required. McGlinchey (6-8, 312) began his career at right tackle before shifting to the left side. That versatility could come in handy for the 49ers, as right tackle Trent Brown enters the final year of his contract and might not be back in 2019. Moreover, six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is 34 years old, and it is uncertain how much longer he can play at a high level. McGlinchey has the athleticism that Shanahan covets. He began high school as a tight end and also played on the basketball team.

OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller is an exceptional athlete who should get better and better. He ran the third-fastest time among offensive linemen at the combine and placed near the top of all the other agility drills. Miller started off his college career on the right side before shifting over to protect the blind side of quarterback Josh Rosen. With any offensive lineman the 49ers select, the club could consider having him begin his career at guard before moving him to tackle whenever the need arises.

CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson was among the 49ers’ final pre-draft visits to Santa Clara. The team needs another cornerback to join presumptive starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. At 6-0 3/8, Jackson is not as tall as initially advertised, but his style of play and long arms would fit well within the 49ers’ scheme. He has great instincts, as shown by his nation-leading eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The consensus best wide receiver in the draft could provide Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan with another option in the passing game to join starters Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin. Garçon is the possession receiver and Goodwin is the deep threat. Ridley is versatile and polished, which makes him a nice chess piece to utilize early in his career for specific matchups.

WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
It should be noted that the 49ers like their receiver corps, a group that also includes Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and Kendrick Bourne. But Sutton (6-3, 219) would give the 49ers more size to exploit matchups. He gets high marks off the field. There is no rush to get him out there before he is ready. The 49ers can take their time to develop him, as they would have him under their control contractually for five seasons. He has spent time learning from Anquan Boldin.