The Charlotte Hornets became the first NBA team to deal with a domestic violence incident in this post Ray Rice sports environment when forward Jeff Taylor was arrested last week. In response, the Hornets wasted very little time banning Taylor from all team activities.
General manager Rich Cho spoke with reporters at the team’s media day about the severity of the situation.
“We felt as an organization that it was appropriate to act decisively and swiftly, and that’s what we decided to do,” said Cho, who addressed the incident publicly for the first time Monday. “We were satisfied with the process. It was an organizational decision. We worked with the NBA throughout this whole process.”
“We take domestic violence as a vey serious matter.”
“It’s disappointing, but we just have to let it play out. Jeff is afforded his legal process.”
Charlotte will wait for the NBA to complete its investigation before any permanent decisions are made, but with the signing of Jason Maxiell I figure Taylor will be on his way out regardless.
The world of sports is in very tricky territory here. Domestic violence is an important issue and it should be taken very seriously, but players also have rights. The justice system is based on the premise of being presumed innocent until proven guilty. What if Taylor is innocent? The question then becomes, why has he been punished before guilt has been determined and what damage does this do to his career and reputation? Although it will never be perfect, there has to be a better way to handle things where it’s fair to those who have only been accused, but strict on those who are guilty.