An ex-girlfriend of former NBA player Ben Gordon claims a “Karen” who recognized him sparked his arrest for allegedly hitting his 10-year-old son.
Gordon’s ex Ashley Banks said the “Karen” targeted the former basketball player after she recognized him Monday at LaGuardia Airport in New York, where he was arrested on allegations he struck his child. Gordon has been charged with assault and resisting arrest.
Banks, who dated Gordon from 2016 to 2020, said he did not hurt his son, but that the “Karen” scarred the child for life.
“The problem is the child was traumatized,” Banks told the New York Post.
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“The child saw his father being arrested, taken away,” she continued. “He was waiting in custody until his aunt picked him up. So that is the worst part of it, you know, and so we want to really protect him.”
The young boy was escorted by an aunt to Long Island Jewish Children’s Hospital for evaluation. The child had an order of protection out against his father.
Banks said the child could be traumatized for life after witnessing the incident.
“We were just disappointed because you keep seeing this pattern with Black people,” she said. “And it’s sad, but like a child is traumatized from it. How do you calm a 10-year-old? He’s probably going to be scared of the police. Because he’s little.”
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According to the criminal complaint, witnesses told police Gordon struck his son with a “closed fist” as the two were waiting for their flight to Chicago.
An American Airlines employee told police she saw Gordon punching the child and yelling at him after he dropped a book on the floor.
Port Authority police prevented Gordon from boarding the plane, and he allegedly resisted arrest by locking his arms. Two officers were injured in the arrest, but the extent of their injuries remains unclear.
Banks claims the “Karen” recognized Gordon and chose to “take advantage” of the situation. She said others have previously attempted to take advantage of the ex-ball player.
Gordon has been arrested several times in the past, including for driving with a forged license, pulling fire alarms in his Los Angeles apartment despite there being no fire and for an alleged assault and robbery. He has admitted to struggling with mental health issues.
Banks told the DailyMail she once got a restraining order against Gordon, but that she does not believe he would hit his children.
“I spoke with a child’s mother and like, she’s like, ‘he would absolutely never do that.’ The child’s fine. Safe. Was not hit at all,” Banks told the Post.
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“It was completely fabricated,” she said. “It’s really, really sad. Because when you put something out like that, especially on athletes and celebrities, it doesn’t go away.”
Gordon is a former NBA shooting guard who played for four teams during his 11 years in the league — the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic. In his rookie year with the Bulls, he won the Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year awards.