Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor has been suspended for 24 games without pay by the NBA. Taylor plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault and malicious destruction of hotel property, stemming from an incident with a “girlfriend” last September.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver went beyond the standard 10-game suspension for a violent offense. The current climate in professional sports following the NFL’s gaffe in handling the Ray Rice incident.
Taylor has already missed 11 games and will sit out an additional 13. That’s about fourth of the NBA’s 82 game schedule.He will lose $199,689 of his $915,000 salary.
“This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public’s confidence in it,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a release Wednesday. “Mr. Taylor’s conduct violates applicable law and, in my opinion, does not conform to standards of morality and is prejudicial and detrimental to the NBA.”
Taylor, 25, is in his third NBA season. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation. As part of his probation, he must complete 26 weeks in a domestic violence intervention program.
The NBA conducted an investigation into Taylor’s arrest in an East Lansing, Michigan, hotel the morning of Sept. 25 after an altercation with a woman with whom he was having a romantic relationship.
Taylor and the woman were drinking heavily and a loud argument ensued, prompting hotel guests to call security, the NBA release said. The argument escalated, and Taylor shoved the woman in a violent manner into the hallway, where she fell to the ground and struck her head on an opposite door.
The release also said Taylor slapped her arm and punched a hole in the wall near his hotel room. The woman had marks on her upper arm and a bump on her head but declined medical treatment, the report said.
Taylor was arrested by East Lansing police officers and, according to the NBA investigation, was “belligerent and uncooperative.”
Taylor’s charge will be dismissed if he completes all the requirements of the program that include alcohol counseling and community service.
“While the suspension is significantly longer than prior suspensions for incidents of domestic violence by NBA players, it is appropriate in light of Mr. Taylor’s conduct, the need to deter similar conduct going forward, and the evolving social consensus — with which we fully concur — that professional sports leagues like the NBA must respond to such incidents in a more rigorous way,” Silver said in the statement.
New NBA Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts said they would appeal the decision at Taylor’s discretion. Taylor declined. I know some might be confused as to why a woman would want to appeal a domestic violence punishment. Roberts job as head of the union is to protect the players and their rights. The punishment is over the limits as laid out in the CBA. Ensuing that the players interest are protected is the union’s job. If you allow the NBA and Adam Silver to make things up as they go along, things could get tricky later down the line.