As quickly as the San Francisco 49ers released second-year linebacker Reuben Foster following his second domestic violence arrest in eight months, he was claimed off of waivers by Washington just 72 hours later, setting off a firestorm.
USA Today columnist Mike Jones called the move “vile and inexcusable” in his column on Tuesday.
“I don’t care how desperate you are to make the playoffs,” Jones said. “There is absolutely no justification for adding Reuben Foster”
Richard Deitcsh, a writer for the Athletic:
I don't think Reuben Foster will ever play a down for the Washington Redskins but that organization just told you today what they think about domestic violence.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) November 27, 2018
The 31st overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Foster was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence when an unnamed 28-year-old woman said Foster “slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face.”
The incident comes just seven months after he was charged with felony domestic violence for attacking his girlfriend in February which left her with a ruptured eardrum. The charges were dismissed after the victim recanted her story.
The 49ers stood by Foster after the first arrest but after his second domestic violence arrest—and third overall in the last year—the team released him prior to Sunday’s game.
For Washington to pounce on Foster so quickly, it was particularly galling for another obvious reason:
if Colin Kaepernick had beaten a woman instead of kneeled during the anthem he'd still be in the NFL right now.
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) November 27, 2018
Colin Kaepernick, who still has yet to be signed or even worked out by NFL teams since 2016, was frequently referenced by people shocked that Washington claimed Foster but refused to even call Kaepernick when the team’s starting quarterback, Alex Smith, broke his leg two weeks ago.
Fascinating that teams are so afraid of blowback to Kaepernick that nobody will touch him, but obviously don't fear strong enough backlash over a player repeatedly involved with domestic violence. What does that say about us as fans, esp. if the team is calculating correctly?
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) November 27, 2018
-Claim Reuben Foster after multiple arrests and with a potential pending suspension
-Go with Colt McCoy and Mark Sanchez at QB
-Don't sign Colin Kaepernick
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) November 27, 2018
Whether Foster plays a down in Washington this year is up in the air. Foster is facing a likely suspension for the arrest and is on the Commissioner’s Exempt list while the league investigates his latest charge of domestic violence. But the fact that he was even claimed has put another negative spotlight on the Nation’s Capital.
“Less than 72 hours after being arrested on domestic violence charges and waived, a team claimed him on waivers, possibly to have him play right away,” ESPN’s Field Yates said on Twitter. “Give me a break.”