Last night, the NBA announced a 24-game unpaid suspension for Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor, who was arrested in September following charges of domestic abuse. Taylor, who pleaded guilty to the charge in October, was sentenced to 18 months probation after alcohol and an intense argument in an East Lansing, MI hotel led him to shove the woman he was staying with. After falling to the ground, she sustained injuries to her arm and head.
Did the Ray Rice situation play a role in the NBA's harsh suspension? It appears so. In the memo announcing Taylor's suspension, commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged its unprecedented length, and indirectly referenced the recent cases of domestic violence in the professional sports universe (emphasis our own):
While the suspension is significantly longer than prior suspensions for incidents of domestic violence by NBA players, it is appropriate in light of Mr. Taylor's conduct, the need to deter similar conduct going forward, and the evolving social consensus — with which we fully concur — that professional sports leagues like the NBA must respond to such incidents in a more rigorous way.
Silver also made a mention of the women, domestic violence experts, and independent investigators the league consulted during the process of deciding Taylor's suspension—a type of rigor the NFL failed to produce while weighing on Ray Rice's case.
Taylor has yet to appear in a game this season, as his case prompted the Hornets to suspend him indefinitely at the beginning of the year. He'll be waiting awhile longer to make his debut.