San Francisco (AFP) – San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster faces dismissal if domestic violence charges against him are proven, general manager John Lynch warned Monday.
Foster, 24, faces three charges for an alleged assault on his 28-year-old girlfriend in February this year, which left his victim with a ruptured eardrum.
Lynch said while the 49ers were reserving judgment until all the facts of the case were known, he warned that Foster would be fired if the charges were proven.
“The gravity of these charges has not been lost on us,” Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area. “We take it extremely seriously. We do feel like patience is the right approach right now.
“We’re gonna learn things through this legal process. I do want to be abundantly clear that if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he will not be part of this organization going forward.”
Foster has been charged with domestic violence, attempting to prevent the victim from reporting a crime and possessing an assault weapon.
If convicted on all counts, Foster could face up to 11 years in prison.
The National Football League has clamped down on incidents of domestic violence in recent years following criticism that the league had not been tough enough in sanctioning players accused of the crime.
Foster was a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and started 10 games last season, making 72 tackles in his rookie season.