Former NBA player Ben Gordon was arrested at LaGuardia Airport on Monday, Oct. 10, for allegedly hitting his 10-year-old son, according to reports.
Gordon was awaiting a flight to Chicago from New York City when the alleged incident occurred. Port Authority police stopped Gordon from getting onto the plane, and cuffed and arrested him over the alleged abuse.
The 10-year-old was taken by an aunt to Long Island Jewish Children’s Hospital for evaluation. Gordon was taken to the Port Authority police department for processing, where charges are pending. Two officers who made the arrest suffered minor injuries during the course of their interaction with Gordon.
Gordon played 11 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic. He was the number-three pick in the 2004 NBA Draft after starring at UCONN and winning an NCAA championship.
Since his playing days ended in 2015, he’s had a couple of run-ins with police. Gordon was arrested for an alleged assault and robbery in 2017. He was also arrested for driving with a forged license plate and setting off fire alarms inside his Los Angeles residence when there was no fire.
Gordon also has talked about his struggles with mental health, penning an essay in The Players‘ Tribune.
“There was a point in time when I thought about killing myself every single day for about six weeks,” wrote Gordon. “I had lost my career, my identity, and my family all pretty much simultaneously. I was manic-depressive. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. And when I say I wasn’t sleeping, it was like a whole different level of insomnia. Every night, I’d wake up at the same time, like clockwork. And that’s when the demons would come out.”
If the allegations prove to be true, Gordon could be facing serious consequences depending on what, if any, injuries were sustained by his son. More details will emerge as things develop.
The issue of “disciplining” children is volatile. There are people out there who believe physical abuse or corporal punishment is how you discipline. We don’t know the particulars of this situation, but an adult striking a child for any reason is wrong and not healthy.
According to academic Dr. Stacey Patton, all forms of hitting causes structural damage to a child’s developing brain, with the hitting resulting in consequences.
“Fifty years worth of scientific studies has shown that all forms of hitting, even when there are no bruises or other injuries left behind, causes structural damage to a child’s developing brain, can compromise their immune system, places them at risk for delinquency and incarceration, poor intellectual, psychological, and chronic health problems later in life.
“Studies of brain scans by doctors at Harvard Medical School reveal the devastating effect corporal punishment has had on young adults. The brain scans of corporally punished young adults (not subjects who were bruised or severely injured) show nearly 20 percent reduction in the volume of gray matter in certain areas of the prefrontal cortex of their brains, compared with those who were not hit.
“When a child is threatened with a whupping or is hit, their body is flooded with certain stress hormones, which can damage the hippocampus, which may in turn affect their ability to cope with stress later in life.”
Gordon received court-mandated therapy after a previous arrest, he credited it with helping to address the struggles he referenced in the Players’ Tribune piece.
“The only thing that saved me was getting arrested, as weird as that sounds. I got arrested four times in five months. I was out of my mind. So the judge hit me with court-mandated therapy — 18 months.
Gordon did extend his therapy beyond the court mandated 18 months. It is unclear if he is still going to therapy.