Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of domestic violence.
For NBA players, their first encounter with free agency is believed to be a celebratory rite of passage.
In the case of Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, after three seasons of relative anonymity, his explosive athleticism and penchant for embarrassing pick-and-roll defenders propelled him into a career year during the 2021-22 season, which saw he showed tremendous potential and puts up the kind of ostentatious numbers – 20.2 points and seven boards per game, to be exact – that traditionally warrant a huge contract from both big and small market teams.
However, on the eve of free agency, which was set to begin at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, instead of a maximum NBA salary of $173 million over the course of five years — after wisely reject a $60 million four-year pact with the Hornets last fall — the product of the state of Michigan chose to destroy his family rather than position his wife and two children for the kind of generational wealth most of us only dream of.
On Wednesday afternoon, the 24-year-old was arrested for domestic violence. But while details were initially scarce, Bridge’s wife Mychelle Johnson took it upon herself to fill in the blanks on Friday.
“I hate that it’s come to this, but I can’t shut up anymore,” she says wrote on Instagram. “I have allowed someone to destroy my home, abuse me in every way and traumatize our children for life. I have nothing to prove to the world, but I will not allow anyone who could do such a terrible thing to have no regrets and paint a picture of something that I am not.”
She then went on to elaborate on the injuries she allegedly sustained during her domestic fight — “a broken nose, wrist, ruptured eardrum, ruptured muscles in my neck from choking until I went to sleep.” [with] a serious concussion” – and insisted that “I don’t need sympathy, I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I just want this person to get help, my kids deserve better.”
This revelation was made even more shocking by a series of bruised, battered and bloodied images Johnson posted to document her injuries, alongside a heartbreaking video of her son on FaceTime describing what he had allegedly seen.
“Daddy strangled mommy,” the child explains. He then reveals that during the violent dispute between his parents, Bridges threw Johnson’s phone out the window – presumably to prevent her from getting the kind of help that would put the budding NBA superstar behind bars.
Of course, this troubling ordeal has left Bridges’s would-be suitors reluctant to offer a lucrative contract. But that decision shouldn’t be based on hitting a salary cap or the toil of navigating the competition’s personal conduct policies. It must be rooted in basic human decency – and a refusal to hire or be associated with it each player who would physically or sexually harm another human despite their ability to throw touchdowns, hit home runs, or dunk a basketball. And although this is not the first time that I have tackled domestic violence in professional sportsthis one is one of the rare instances where the NBA — as a respectable business entity with a relatively impeccable reputation — finds itself at a crucial crossroads.
Miles Bridges has proven to be a coward who has violated the sanctity of his home, his family and in turn his own flesh and blood. As his wife boldly stated “it’s unethical, it’s immoral, it’s really SICK” that she has been silenced for so long and put in a position to “continue lying to protect this person”. So if she can muster the extraordinary amount of courage it took to expose this monster for who he really is, rather than seize this opportunity to sign another talented attacker for little money, NBA executives should heed. her testimony and ban him from ever entering an NBA court again.