Collison pleads guilty to domestic abuse charge
Three months after a May 30 incident at his Granite Bay home, Sacramento Kings’ point guard Darren Collison pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor domestic abuse Friday morning in a Placer County courtroom.
So what does this mean? Essentially, the seven-year NBA veteran accepted a plea deal from the placer County District Attorney and will serve 20 days of community service and three years of unsupervised probation. He will also need to attend 52 weeks of battery counselling, a California state requirement for such offenses. No jail time. That covers the off-the-court punishment.
On-the-court, Collison faces a yet undetermined lengthy suspension by the NBA. The ruling should come within the next week or two and is expected to be between five to ten games. He is slated to make approximately $63,773 per game this season. You can do the math once the NBA’s ruling comes out.
A bigger issue facing the Kings starting point guard is one of his public image. Until now, he was always viewed as one of the good guys in the league. Everything has now changed. How will the fans respond to him? Will his teammates and coaches support him? How will the league as a whole view him as he enters a crucial free-agent market next summer? Has he just “Ty Lawsoned” himself into NBA obscurity?
“Words cannot describe the feelings and regret that I have been experiencing the last few months,” Collison said in a prepared statement following the plea deal. “My family and I found ourselves in such an unfamiliar situation and it has been a difficult few months. This is far from who I am as a person and not something I am proud of. I take full responsibility for my actions. I have apologized to my beautiful wife that I have known and loved since high school. I appreciate and am thankful for the love and understanding from my family, friends and supporters. Now it is time to put this behind us and move forward.”
The Kings released the following statement regarding the incident.
“Domestic violence is a serious issue across our nation and one that runs contrary to our organization’s values. We’re disappointed by Darren’s behavior and today he accepted full responsibility for his actions. He is committed to using this incident to help raise awareness through education of this critical issue in the community. We’re working with Darren and the NBA on the appropriate next steps.”
In the world of professional sports, players do stupid things all the time and the fans usually forget about them once the headlines move to the next hot topic. While I suspect some fans will hold this over Darren’s head for the rest of his time in Sacramento, most will let it go and focus on the upcoming season and a shiny new arena.
I’d like to see The former UCLA standout really take ownership of his errors and become a spokesman on the topic long after his court-mandated sentence has passed. But this is sports in 2016 and we all know how it works.