Earlier this week it was reported that former 9-time All-Star point guard Gary Payton was the subject of a lawsuit alleging assault. The lawsuit was filed by Trishtan Williams, who according to TMZ, accompanied Payton to an awards gala in Seattle back in January. She alleges that Payton assaulted her three times in one evening after the event. Williams has also hired Gloria Allred as her attorney. Payton reportedly denies the claims.
Payton has been working for Fox Sports 1 as their NBA analyst since the network’s inception in 2013. And in case you’re wondering where he’s been recently on FS1 airwaves, Fox Sports has suspended Payton while an ongoing internal investigation into the allegations takes place.
A Fox Sports spokesperson released this statement to Awful Announcing:
Regardless of the circumstance, domestic violence is abhorrent and inexcusable and FOX takes these accusations very seriously. As soon as we were made aware of the claim, we began an internal investigation. Mr. Payton was suspended immediately pending the completion of the investigation. Out of respect for both parties we will not be making any additional statements.
The last appearance we could find on social media of Payton appearing on Fox Sports Live was this segment from February 11th with Charissa Thompson and Julius Erving. That would lead one to believe the Fox Sports suspension goes well back before the case against Payton was made public. (If we receive the exact date of when the suspension began from Fox Sports, we will update the post.) Donny Marshall and Corey Maggette have been working as NBA studio analysts for Fox Sports 1 in recent months.
ESPN has been in the news for an avalanche of suspensions being doled out to high level talent in the last two years. Bill Simmons, Stephen A. Smith, Keith Olbermann, Dan Le Batard, Britt McHenry, and the list goes on and on. But this is the first time we’ve heard of a significant suspension for an on-air talent at Fox Sports 1.
Amazingly, one of the greatest players in NBA history has been suspended by a major news organization and it has flown completely under the radar until now.