On Tuesday night, the New York Knicks faced off against the Houston Rockets. Jeff Van Gundy, the former NBA coach and current ESPN announcer, took a moment to weigh in on domestic violence issues, specifically referencing the punishment the league issued to Darren Collison.
The outspoken analyst felt that the punishment, which was an 8 game suspension, was a joke and made the NBA appear to not really care about domestic violence. He argued that players should face a 1 year suspension if convicted of domestic violence, and that repeat offenders should be banned from the league entirely. He also recalled a domestic violence conference he attended that had a particularly haunting 911 call from a child whose mother was being attacked by her spouse. Here is the full transcript of those comments:
Transcript of Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jones talking about the Derrick Rose case on the ESPN Knicks-Rockets broadcast pic.twitter.com/CCLt7sIImP
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) October 5, 2016
While some may dismiss his potential punishments as too stiff, reading his account of that 911 call points to just how grave a crime domestic violence can be. It also answers criticism the league has faced for being too soft on the issue, and too inconsistent. In 2014, Jeff Taylor was convicted of the exact same crime as Collison. Taylor faced a 24 game suspension without pay, while Collison only received 8 games.
The NBA will likely face more backlash about the Collison decision, and with allegations against Derrick Rose seemingly ready to move to trial, it’s only going to get worse for them. Expect to see the league review their punishment process and enact harsher ones some time in the future.