As you’ve likely heard by now, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was arrested for assault early Sunday morning in East Lansing, Michigan. Allegedly, the arrest stemmed from Green slapping another man at a restaurant in downtown East Lansing, where Green attended college. No injuries were reported and there is currently no report of any other arrest being made.
Green faces an assault charge; a conviction for which, under Michigan law, carries a potential jail sentence of 93 days, two years probation, and a $500.00 fine. However, because Green is a first time offender, jail time is highly unlikely. Green is scheduled for an arraignment in court on July 20, at which time a court date will be set for the next hearing (assuming no plea is reached in the interim).
How Will This Arrest Affect Green’s Career?
Summer Olympic Games
Green’s arrest could have an impact on his Team USA appointment, however it is unlikely. The main concern for Green would be potential visa issues. In some cases, an arrest will make it difficult for a person to travel internationally, potentially barring them from entering another country. However, a misdemeanor arrest will likely not pose any issues. Further, luckily for Green, Brazil has recently placed a visa waiver into effect for citizens of the United States. The waiver is valid through September 18. This means that he will likely not need to seek additional clearance from Brazilian immigration officials to obtain a visa, and he will be permitted to enter the country as planned. Nonetheless, expect both USA Basketball and the United States Olympic Committee to review the situation, as both entities will want to ensure that expulsion from the Olympic games is not warranted.
Upcoming NBA Season
Pursuant to Article VI, Section 10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”), both the NBA and a team, in this case the Warriors, cannot discipline a player for the same act or conduct. If such an instance occurs, the NBA’s disciplinary action will supersede any disciplinary action by the team. However, the same act or conduct by a player can possibly result in both a termination of the player’s Uniform Player Contract by his team and the suspension of the player by the NBA, if such a punishment is warranted.
Notwithstanding the above, Article VI, Section 15 states that a team shall not impose discipline on a player solely on the basis of the fact that the player has been arrested. However, the team may impose discipline on a player for the conduct underling the player’s arrest if it has an independent basis for doing so.
In other words, the CBA allows either the team or the NBA to punish a player for the same act, unless the player’s conduct is so severe that punishment from both is warranted. Because Draymond has only been arrested, and not yet convicted, of a crime, it is unlikely that the Warriors and the NBA would find that he deserves such a harsh punishment from both entities. Further, because the CBA clearly states that a team shall not discipline a player solely for an arrest, the Warriors will likely take no action here. Worst case scenario, Draymond sees a suspension from the league. However, the more likely result is simply a fine.
Because provisions of the collective bargaining agreements in all of the major leagues are so heavily negotiated between the players’ union and the league, players usually need not worry about losing their contract with the team over an arrest, especially when the contract is guaranteed (like Green’s). However, it is not unusual to see companies dropping players from their endorsement deals when bad news hits. Take Tiger Woods, for example – he lost deals from Nike, Gatorade, and AT&T, among others, costing him approximately $22 million in 2010 alone when details of his sex scandal broke.
While Draymond’s conduct was likely not severe enough to land him on the Tiger Woods train, his arrest probably put the companies whom he has contracted with in a position of power regarding whether to keep him on board. This is due to the morals clause. Most companies (if they’re smart) will include a morals clause that gives them the power to terminate the deal with a celebrity at the first sign of trouble. The power to terminate will depend on the company; for example, Nike will likely have a clause that favors them more than, say, T-Mobile, who may have to work a little bit harder to sign an athlete to a deal. Regardless, it is unlikely that any company will cut ties with Draymond over the details of this arrest, but keep an eye out, because if he is convicted or if further details emerge placing him in a bad light, it may be a different story.