Content warning: This story contains details about alleged domestic violence. The content may be difficult to read and emotionally upsetting.
There’s no place for domestic violence in sports or in any other field for that matter. Unfortunately, it more often than not is just words.
There remains a lot to be done in terms of preventing domestic violence, given that new cases continue to emerge especially in the sports world. A quick search online will reveal news of players from other sports being involved in domestic violence cases, with varying outcomes. All of it, though, points to one thing: the problem still exists.
Kevin Porter Jr. has become the latest case of domestic violence in sports, as around a week ago, Porter Jr,. was arrested after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick. Court prosecutors said that Gondrezick suffered multiple injuries, of which included a fractured neck vertebra and a cut above her right eye. There are reports that the neck vertebra fracture may have been a preexisting condition, but that doesn’t excuse the other physical and mental injuries he inflicted on her.
For a league that has been among the more active in terms of social justice, the NBA is no stranger to cases like this. It is unfortunate, however, that this was often met by silence from most NBA players, who made quite a lot of noise when Noah Lyles went on his “world champions” rant. On one hand, Porter Jr.’s case is still being investigated and we still continue to wait for more facts to come out, but it would be nice for some of the game’s most socially-aware players to take a stand on something that goes well beyond sports.
Of course, this could all be just the tip of the iceberg.
Miles Bridges, Jeffrey Taylor, and Darren Collison are just some of the recent examples where the NBA has handed out punishments for domestic violence. The effect of those penalties seemed like a slap on the wrist, as Bridges and Collison resumed playing in the NBA following their suspensions. Although Bridges lost out on a big payday he nonetheless got a second chance. Meanwhile, Taylor returned to the Charlotte Hornets but was out of the NBA by 2015. Porter Jr.’s case, however, could be different from the three aforementioned players.
Never mind that Porter Jr. is a talented player; he’s already had a long history of transgressions. From being suspended from the team for “personal conduct issues” in his time with the USC Trojans to misconduct during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets, the 23-year old pretty much used up all his chances.
All things considered, Kevin Porter Jr. shouldn’t be in the NBA. In the remote chance he will step on the court once again, he should be able to address and prove without a doubt that he can manage his emotions and treat those around him with utmost respect. The Rockets are reportedly shopping him around to other teams, but that may be a tough ask for someone who has brought headaches that may not be worth dealing with despite his production.
At this point, Porter Jr.’s reputation already precedes him and given the gravity of his actions, it may never go away.