The Hornets issued a statement on Friday stating that they had removed Jeff Taylor, who is facing domestic violence charges, from team activities until the matter gets sorted out.
“We have informed Jeffery Taylor that effective immediately he will not be participating in any team-related activities while the NBA is investigating his conduct in this matter,” the statement said.
“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. We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position.”
It’s the job of the Players Association to, well, protect the players, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the statement issued by new executive director Michele Roberts cautions against disciplinary action in advance of full discovery of the facts.
“Jeffrey and his lawyers have determined that it is in Jeffrey’s best interest to focus on resolving this matter as expeditiously as possible before returning to the team,” she said in a statement, via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “However, our expectation is that no disciplinary action should or would be taken by the team or the league going forward, prior to objective deliberation and full consideration of the facts in this matter.”
It’s unlikely that the time away from the team was Taylor’s idea; that portion of the statement seems to be his agreeing to the terms set by the Hornets without argument, while putting a positive spin on that particular element of his situation.
As for the Players Association, you can see why they’d view this as unfair, and would want to make it known that they don’t want players punished simply as a result of an accusation. But with the spotlight on professional athletes and domestic violence allegations in light of the NFL’s poor handling of the Ray Rice incident, you can expect the NBA and its teams, at least in the short-term, to take a much more proactive approach.