The NBA has clearly learned something from the NFL's recent issues regarding the proper way to handle charges and allegations of domestic violence. Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor was arrested early Thursday morning in East Lansing, Mich., and charged with domestic assault, assault, and malicious destruction of property. With training camp set to begin early next week, the franchise wasted little time in deciding to keep Taylor off the court and away from team activities.
Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor will not be participating in any team-related activities during an NBA investigation into his arrest on domestic assault charges, the team announced Friday.
''As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution,'' the Hornets said in a statement Friday. ''We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position.''
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said that the league supports ''the Charlotte Hornets' decision to separate Jeffery Taylor from the team during the investigation.'' [...]
The Hornets open the preseason on Oct. 8 in Philadelphia, the same day Taylor has a pre-trial court date at East Lansing District Court.
It's worth noting that this announcement only concerns an ongoing NBA investigation, not legal proceedings. We don't yet know how long the league's investigation will take, so it is perhaps best to consider Taylor's time away from the Hornets as indefinite until more information is known. For now, it appears to be the case that he will not be with the team until at least that Oct. 8 court date.
What is clear, though, is that the NBA and its teams do not want to repeat the mistakes of the NFL over the past weeks and months. While the NFL's insufficient response to the Ray Rice case has garnered the most attention, the league has had several other high-profile instances of mismanagement, including one involving the Hornets' neighbor Carolina Panthers in which star defensive end Greg Hardy was not kept off the field until Week 2 while appealing a conviction for domestic violence. In contrast, the Hornets waited less than two full days to bar Taylor from team activities. It's difficult to praise the NBA for the decision, though, because it's more likely that they are simply abiding by a new standard.
It remains to be seen if commissioner Adam Silver will have to act further. Current NBA rules stipulate a minimum suspension of 10 games for a first conviction for a violent crime. Taylor has not been convicted, of course, but it would not be surprising to see Silver go well above that 10-game floor whenever he must suspend a player for a domestic violence conviction. The NFL's recent controversies appear to have changed the approaches of the rest of the sports world.
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