Under the current NBA collective bargaining agreement, players convicted of a violent felony — including domestic violence related offenses — are suspended for a minimum of 10 games. If Jeff Van Gundy were in charge, the punishment would be much more severe.
“My one suggestion going forward is, any felony committed against a woman should be a full-season suspension,” Van Gundy said during the ESPN broadcast on Tuesday. “And on the second one, you're gone.”
Van Gundy’s comments came after he mentioned Darren Collison, who was recently suspended for eight games for a domestic violence incident. Collison pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charge and was suspended after a review from the NBA. The fact that Collison’s charge was a misdemeanor, not a felony, doesn’t take away from Van Gundy’s overall point. Professional sports leagues must do better when it comes to domestic violence.
“Let's stop with trying to give out [free passes] ... because the one thing I learned today, it's not a mistake,” he said. “It's a choice. It's a choice to commit a violent act, and I just think we've got to ... it's ... eight games, he comes back. I just think we've got to do more instead of ... like you said, the NBA's always been on the forefront. Let's be on the forefront of this."
The entire conversation started after Van Gundy’s partner Mark Jones brought up Derrick Rose and the rape trial he is facing in civil court. It would have been easy for Van Gundy and Jones to brush off the situation and instead focus on the play on the court. Many announcers may have done just that.
Instead, Jones and Van Gundy used it as an opportunity to make a strong statement about an important issue.
Here is the entire conversation: