How would you like to be the Sacramento Kings right now? The organization just hired their new basketball coach to build your franchise around a guy that promises will bring back a winning attitude, and he gets slapped with a lawsuit not just alleging sexual harassment, but in Luke Walton’s case, sexual assault.
This crisis communication initiative for the NBA franchise will go on for weeks, if not months. They find themselves in a real precarious situation. They don’t want to give the impression that you’re allowing something like that behavior to fester. At the same token, The Kings organization can’t prejudge an outcome. So they did best they could do by issuing a statement that saying, “We’re aware of the allegations, and we’re conducting an investigation.”
From here, the Sacramento Kings must stand ready to make a move if the preponderance of evidence, or any hard evidence that draws a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt, occurs. CEOs take note. If one of their key folks gets hit with this kind of lawsuit without precedence, you will want to start talking about how you will watch the situation closely. I’d also start talking up how you have a wide depth and breadth of key leaders in other key roles. In this case, for the Sacramento Kings, a solid front office and a solid coaching staff around Luke Walton. Just give yourself the opportunity to have an out if you must exercise that.