View Full Version : Pending Charges: When should the league suspend players?

09-19-2014, 01:42 PM
I know the question of domestic violence has been brought up a lot in forums lately, but given that yet another NFL player has been suspended, it seems there are some questions that should be asked as it seems the NBA will have to deal with this sooner or later.

In my opinion, unless there is overwhelming public evidence demonstrating guilt (such as a surveillance video or confession), I'm off the mind that everybody is 'innocent until proven guilty'.

Jonathan Dwyer's recent charges (and I know nothing about them), may or may not be true, but it seems that without public evidence proving his guilt, a suspension would be unfair until a court decision is made. There may be evidence I don't know about (I haven't been following the case), but should the league wait until the man has had his day in court? And this should apply to all criminal charges.

I anticipate the NBA will have to deal with this before the season is out. I know Chris Andersen was falsely accused of criminal activity and it seems to have impacted his ability to find a team, but the league made no move to suspend him until he had been convicted, which is good since it turns out there were false allegation.

I am not a fan of Jason Kidd because of his abuse conviction, but he at least took ownership over his actions, pleaded guilty, and did was the courts required of him, and the NBA waited until the legalities were settled before a suspension was handed out, much like they do for DUI charges.

Should the league hold off on suspensions until the courts have run their course in cases where there is no public evidence and the accused professes innocence? Or should they copy the NFL and hand out suspensions before hand?

Obviously domestic abuse (be it against a partner or a child) is awful, but we also have due process. Where should the league sit?

09-19-2014, 01:55 PM
After they are convicted

WSU Tony
09-19-2014, 03:08 PM
The league should suspend after the player is convicted. The teams, however, need to decide (as an employer) whether the accused is someone they want in the locker room as well as being associated with the aforementioned team.

Innocent until proven guilty applies when we talk about someone being sentenced to prison for a crime. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply to your employer. Most employers can fire you without reason at any time. At will employment doesn't give two shi ts about the court systems motto of "innocent until proven guilty."

09-19-2014, 03:52 PM
As WSU said, innocent until proven guilty applies to criminal court, private businesses are held to no such standard. Just like "illegal" recordings, a private business can consider them even if a court could not.

Fines and suspensions are not punishments for the crime, that is handled by courts. They are punishments for damaging the image of the league. Ray Rice, for instance, did not get his suspension extended because the crime was suddenly worse, but rather because with the elevator video made the NFL look like enablers.

09-19-2014, 04:03 PM
very complicated question that might cost Goodell his job.

ultimately its hard to take something away without a conviction or explicit evidence

Sorry for using NFL examples but I feel like this is the same in all sports.

Even removing AP and Hardy, they're still getting game checks, so they didn't technically get their "job" taken away.

There's not going to be a happy middle ground, and any suspension you impose that is less than life or indefinite is going to be met with criticism. The mob will call for the head until the head comes off.

If I were the league, I would be firm on suspensions for convictions and leave it to the team & player in the mean time.

The team should deactivate while they collect information & they should absorb the public shock. Commish should stay almost completely out. Sort of like how the NCAA lets teams investigate/self report violations themselves and then drops the hammer on the team when it gets out of control.

The player should be able to begin serving his suspension immediately if he chooses as well, instead of waiting for the case to play out. This would help get rid of the limbo situation if legal proceedings drag on.

Very tough spot for leagues to be in. There's very little they can do. Its just a matter of organized damage control. Then you won't have crazy guys like Keith Olbermann standing on their soap box every night over the same issue.