NEW YORK — The Executive Director of the NBA Players Association said the suspension given to Charlotte’s Jeffery Taylor by Commissioner Adam Silver is “excessive, without precedent and a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
Michele Roberts adds that the union is ready to file an immediate appeal, but that the choice is Taylor’s.
Silver suspended Taylor for 24 games without pay after the forward pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property. Taylor will lose nearly $200,000 of his $915,000 salary this season.
Taylor will get credit for the 11 games he has missed, and will sit out an additional 13 for a total which is slightly more than one-fourth of the league’s 82-game schedule.
“The CBA contemplates a minimum 10-game suspension in any case involving a conviction for a violent felony, including domestic violence. In contrast, Jeff Taylor was charged with a misdemeanor that is likely to be dismissed at the end of a probationary period,” Roberts said in a statement.
Taylor was sentenced to 18 months of probation. As part of his probation, he must complete 26 weeks in a domestic violence intervention program.
Silver issued a statement Nov. 19 in which he said: “This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public’s confidence in it. Mr. Taylor’s conduct violates applicable law and, in my opinion, does not conform to standards of morality and is prejudicial and detrimental to the NBA.”
But Roberts notes that the penalty is one of the longest in NBA history.
“We have a scheme of discipline that was the result of collective bargaining between the parties that has been applied consistently over the years,” she said. “While we appreciate the sensitivity of this societal issue, the Commissioner is not entitled to rewrite the rules or otherwise ignore precedent in disciplinary matters.”
Taylor can appeal the suspension to an independent arbitrator. “While ultimately this is Jeff’s decision, we stand ready to file an immediate appeal on his behalf,” Roberts said.
(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)