Just days after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league will “take a fresh look” at its domestic violence policy, the Charlotte Hornets’ Jeffrey Taylor, 25, was arrested and charged with domestic assault. According to TMZ Sports, the small forward allegedly attacked his girlfriend and a man in a hotel room in East Lansing, Mich.
Under the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the league does not dole out punishment unless there is a conviction. In there is a conviction, the league can impose a minimum 10-game suspension, as well as mandatory counseling for a first offense.
Silver may be looking to change that, however, judging from comments he made about the league’s domestic violence policy earlier this week. He made his remarks in light of the ongoing controversy surrounding the NFL regarding its domestic violence policy.
“The whole world’s focused right now on what’s happening around the NFL, so it would be foolish for us not to try to learn from everything that’s happening with that league,” Silver said (via ESPN). “By no means am I naive; we’ve had our share of issues over the years. What we can do is focus on education. We have in place the appropriate mechanisms for discipline, but we’ll take a fresh look at them as well.
Some people are demanding that the NBA rethink the way it doles out punishment for domestic violence, however, in light of Taylor’s situation.
“To wait for the conviction in these cases is basically to decide to do nothing,” Tania Tetlow, a law professor and director of Tulane’s domestic violence center, told Bleacher Report, which adds:
The system is broken, and waiting for a court verdict “is a decision to defer to that broken system,” said Tetlow, who previously worked as a federal prosecutor. That is, sadly, the NBA’s de facto policy.
The Hornets released a statement on Taylor’s arrest late Thursday, noting, “This is a matter that we take very seriously.” The statement stopped short of hinting at whether Taylor will face any immediate repercussions, however, and instead stated, “The organization is in the process of gathering more information and doing our due diligence.”
Taylor’s pre-trial court date on his domestic assault charges has been set for Oct. 8 — the same day the Hornets are set to travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers in their preseason opener. The proceedings will take place at East Lansing District Court in Michigan, according to Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings (via WCNC-TV), who added that jury selection for the case is set for Oct. 14. In Michigan, Taylor could opt for a bench trial instead. Neither Taylor nor his lawyers have indicated what their plans are.