It’s becoming routine, these headlines of players in trouble with the law. Athletes have gotten in trouble since the start of sports. Social media makes it seem more prevalent. And that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because maybe some of these guys will be scared straight. Maybe they’ll think first before they put their careers at risk and embarrass themselves and their families.
Hopefully, this will come into play the next time a woman gets Jeff Taylor of the Charlotte Hornets riled up. I know: You’re asking, “Who is Jeff Taylor?”
He’s a swingman in his third year out of Vanderbilt. The NBA suspended him today for 24 games for pushing a woman he was involved with out of a hotel room, banging her head on a door and punching a hole in a wall.
In the past, such cases were given less penalty. But that’s why it is a good thing that social media has made knowledge of misdeeds like this more prevalent. There is a public outcry. The teams and leagues see it, read about it, and they act. Last thing either wants to do is alienate its public.
“This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public’s confidence in it,” commission Adam Silver said in a released statement explaining his decision. “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.
“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.
“Because education and training is just as important as the imposition of discipline, Mr. Taylor must also satisfactorily complete the terms of his sentence, including the domestic violence intervention program, alcohol counseling, and community service (which we recommend be directed toward efforts to help victims of domestic violence). ln addition, he will be required to attend individual counseling sessions with a counselor jointly selected by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.”
All that to say this: the NBA is not playing. Mess up and we will make it worse for you. As sad as the Ray Rice saga is and the Adrian Peterson fiasco, it should be the ultimate warning to athletes.
Do right. Don’t hit women. Punish your kids without sending them to the hospital. Forget about the punishment. It’s the right thing to do. There have been plenty of examples of the wrong thing to do in the last few months. Too many.