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Tone Deaf NFL Was Slow On The Draw With Redskins Foster Signing

The Redskins franchise once again proves that there is no social or moral compass in big business.

Former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was claimed off waivers by the Redskins on Tuesday days after he was cut by San Francisco.  Foster was cut following a weekend arrest in Tampa, Florida, on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence battery.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

And so the Redskins have a new linebacker, Reuben Foster.

Foster will not be permitted to practice or play in games for the Redskins as the NFL placed him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List while the league reviews his arrest.

Pursuant to the personal-conduct policy, “A player is placed on Commissioner Exempt List may not practice or attend games, but with the club’s permission he may be present at the club’s facility on a reasonable basis for meetings, individual workouts, therapy and rehabilitation, and other permitted non-football activities.”


Washington immediately received some backlash on social media for signing Foster who has three arrests and two incidents of domestic violence against a girlfriend in 2017. The franchise released a statement to justify the signing.


Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Redskins statement on claiming LB Reuben Foster, including “Nothing is promised to Reuben.

Despite his obvious propensity for violence towards women, Foster has a flair for the escapability of culpability.

The NFL usually has a no-nonsense policy when it comes to domestic abuse. Committees led by women have been implemented to address these issues. Punishments for such violations have increased and been heavily enforced ever since the Ray Rice elevator uppercut went viral and became a revealing, unerasable stain on the reputation of the league.


Unfortunately, the NFL failed to send a clear message that it doesn’t tolerate domestic violence. It’s a step backwards and Roger Goodell was late on the draw, same as he was with the Rice incident. Washington should have never gotten a chance to sign Foster. 

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In 2017 Foster was almost released by the 49ers and people were calling for 49ers GM John Lynch to cut Foster when he was arrested on domestic violence charges.   


Then, in a twist of justice, Foster’s former girlfriend and accuser said she can prove Foster did not cause her injuries and she made the story simply because she was a woman scorned Even avoiding major charges that would be considered to be a  guillotine for most NFL players,  he was reinstated. Remarkably enough, NFL teams and former teammates were still vouching for his character — even after that.

Before the commissioner stepped in and decided to commandeer this PR disaster, the Redskins were ready to also be compliant in Foster’s behavior.

Richard Deitsch on Twitter

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.

In fact, according to reports, only one NFL team made inquiries into the police department responsible for Saturday’s arrest and it wasn’t the team that claimed him off of waivers on Tuesday. The Philadelphia Eagles contacted the Tampa Police Department for details about Foster’s misdemeanor domestic battery arrest that led to his release from the San Francisco 49ers, a person with knowledge of the inquiry told USA TODAY Sports.

The fact that only one of the teams that discussed signing Foster thought to get some background on the case is disturbing, but we know it’s because they didn’t want to see anything that would stop them from bringing him in.



Doug Williams, the Redskins’ senior vice president of player personnel, said in a statement that the team “decided to investigate the situation with Reuben further by claiming his rights after candid conversations with a number of his ex-Alabama teammates and current Redskins players who were overwhelmingly supportive of us taking this chance.”


TMZ on Twitter

Reuben Foster 911 Call, ‘He Slapped Me In My Face’ https://t.co/b7cD1WRQB8

Sorry Doug, but that pass was incomplete. Even Super Bowl champions and icons can drop the ball sometimes.

The Redskins and owner Dan Snyder are batting 1000 in being socially insensitive. Not only does the Redskins logo blatantly offend Native Americans and ownership refuses to change it despite the pleas from people of color across the world, the Skins franchise once again proves that there is no social or moral compass in big business. Just win baby, win. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.