Back in August in Miami (where he lives in the off-season), Piston (then Clipper) big man Willie Reed was arrested on a domestic battery charge. Reed’s wife, Jasmine, said the couple was arguing, she was knocked to the ground in a struggle over her purse, adding he had grabbed her by the shirt, hair, wrist, and arm. She later asked that the charges against him be dropped. In a deal with prosecutors, Reed agreed to go to a diversion program, and when that was completed the battery charges would be dropped (these programs are common nationally for first-time offenders where police and investigators do not think this is a chronic situation).
That doesn’t mean Reed was done with the case.
Tuesday the NBA announced a six-game suspension for Reed for this domestic violence incident. From the NBA’s press release.
The NBA conducted its own investigation into this matter, reviewing all available materials and interviewing the parties involved. The NBA also consulted with a group of domestic violence experts who provide the league with guidance in such cases.
The six-game suspension is based on all facts and circumstances of this matter and considers the conduct and its result, the outcome of the criminal matter, and Reed’s voluntary participation in counseling as well as the court-mandated program, among other factors.
However, the players’ union is filing a grievance in the case. From the player’s union:
“The National Basketball Players Association believes the six-game suspension imposed by the NBA on Willie Reed is excessive and inappropriate. We are filing a grievance today and seeking an expedited hearing to fully protect his rights and get him back on the court as soon as possible.”
The league has been too soft on domestic violence cases in the past and, rightfully, now wants to come down harder on players in this situation. Domestic violence simply cannot be tolerated, not because it’s bad PR for the NBA but because it’s just wrong. Legally, morally, and in every other way wrong.
Did the league come down too hard on Reed? I don’t know enough details in the case to offer a salient opinion, but I don’t think six games for domestic abuse is the least bit unreasonable. What you think probably says more about your worldview than it does this case itself.
The grievance likely will be taken up with the league in the coming days.