Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza is being accused of physical abuse against his 12-year-old son, per a report by TMZ Sports. Ariza is involved in a custody dispute with the mother of the child. TMZ drew the information from court documents in Los Angeles stemming from the dispute. The allegations involve corporal punishment, which was reported to the LAPD and, through them, to the Department of Child and Family Services. The child’s mother has requested a restraining order against Ariza. The article did not cite any action taken as of this point on that matter. It indicates that a custody trial is set for October.
Per the article, Ariza “strongly denies” the allegations, calling them “patently false”. The article quotes him directly:
Ariza says, “what is occurring here is in fact [the mother’s] abuse of the minor child by her relentless, cruel loyalty conflict for [the child], alienation campaign and selfishly driven attempts to interfere in father and son’s relationship.”
That’s a summary of the article. You are welcome to read it directly.
Obviously this is a horrible situation. As the site’s Managing Editor, I’m confronted with the reality that posting this information and not posting it both carry implied statements and risks of bias. For clarity, I’ll say these things:
First, child abuse is horrible. We all should stand against it in any form, by any person. The first person I, personally, think of in any case like this is the child. No matter what’s going on here, I pray for his safety and security, physical, emotional, and familial.
Second, custody battles are murky, and unfortunately, accusations and counter-accusations like this are not uncommon during these kind of proceedings. Nobody outside of the principals in the case know what’s really happened. None of us were there. None of us can serve as a court of law. We simply do not know.
We will update the story when significant news becomes available, whether that’s now or farther in the future. Until that time, in the absence of knowledge, or even a court ruling, further conversation on the matter is an exercise in futility. In this kind of situation, conversation inevitably devolves into conjecture, opinion, and rallying cries towards one conclusion or another, all of which are painful, especially to people who have walked through these circumstances. For that reason, we are going to close comments on this post, presenting the information so you’re aware of the allegations, but asking people to refrain from speculation on site until the matter is settled.