Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rethinking the NBA's Domestic Violence Policy

I interviewed NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts for my new Sports Illustrated commentary on the NBA's domestic violence policy. Hope you have a chance to read it. Here is an excerpt:
Some commentators have highlighted the Celtics suspending Jared Sullinger in 2013 for an altercation with his girlfriend as a blueprint for addressing NBA players implicated in domestic violence. Yet Sullinger's situation is unlike the one facing Taylor. The Celtics only suspended Sullinger after criminal charges were dropped, meaning the suspension could not have prejudiced the criminal case against Sullinger or tainted a potential jury pool. It was also a one-game suspension that Sullinger, who acknowledged he could have used better judgment, accepted without opposition. What happens if the NBA or a team suspends a player while criminal charges are still pending? Would prosecutors subpoena the NBA or the player's team for its investigatory findings and then use the evidence against the player? Or what happens if a player adamantly denies the accusation? Is a league or team really in a position to know if the player is lying or telling the truth? Does it want to be in that position?

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