Pictures surfaced Friday of Greg Hardy’s former girlfriend and victim of his alleged assault Nicole Holder. The pictures are very graphic and show Holder’s condition after the assault leveled by Hardy. The Deadspin article that broke along with the pictures are available HERE if you really want to be shocked or appalled.
The assault occurred a year and a half ago when Hardy, now a member of the Cowboys, was playing for the Carolina Panthers. He was accused of throwing Holder against a wall, throwing her on a bed of assault rifles, and choking her all while threatening her life in an altercation at his apartment.
While I usually like to reserve space on this page for sarcastic, fresh takes on outlandish or bizarre stories, I want our site to address serious issues occurring in the sports world. This story does not have the sarcastic tone, but nonetheless is something that needs desperately to be addressed.
We have reported that Greg Hardy is no humanitarian, however, it is time for a stand to be made that this type of violence should not, and will not be tolerated against anyone.
Hardy’s story over the past two years is well known. He was placed on the NFL Commissioners exempt list after the charges were filed and missed almost all of the 2014 season. This came of course after the Panthers had paid him over $13 million dollars for that season.
In March of this year, Hardy signed a one-year $11.3 million deal with the Cowboys. Cowboys ownership justified this by saying they had vetted him by investigating his past as far back as high school. Umm…did you not investigate 2014? Specifically when he beat the shit out of his girlfriend while threatening her life? This type of investigation sadly is par for the course in the NFL today.
The fact that the NFL has been going through an image problem lately is no secret. The Ray Rice incident was a huge blunder. It was terribly handled from the lack of investigation to the miniscule punishment that was levied against Rice. The NFL finally got it right only after a shocking video came out showing the events that happened that evening.
They now have a chance to take a stance and show that domestic violence will not be tolerated. It’s a sentiment that has been mouthed by NFL leaders and echoed in ad campaigns and commercials. They need to take this chance and give Hardy more time out of the league, possibly a one or two year ban. I am all for giving people second chances, but when people show you who they are you have to believe them. Hardy seems terribly unapologetic and completely tone deaf to his legal situation.
But is it too late again for the NFL to reverse any damage Hardy has done to its image? He’s already signed a deal for millions of dollars, on top of the millions he was paid by Carolina last year. It may be too late, but it’s time for the NFL to realize that this guy is a ticking time bomb. If he is allowed to stay in the league, it’s only a matter of time before something else happens.
It’s time that we addressed the larger issue as well. It’s time to stop writing off these domestic violence issues saying “he plays a rough game, it’s just part of his mentality”. That is a B.S. copout from a society that’s all too eager to look for one. There are lots of football players who never have issues with domestic violence. Peyton Manning has done tons of commercials, but you know what he’s never done? He’s never been arrested for throwing his wife on a pile of assault rifles while threatening her life.
Is the problem that men play a violent game or that these men are coddled from the time they are given a “five star ranking” in high school and possibly sooner. How many of these men have been told no, or told that they can’t do something? That’s a very dangerous environment during the developmental years. Don’t worry though, the Cowboys investigated him back to high school, he’s totally cool right?
We’ve seen the commercials during football games. Players and coaches on screen saying “No More” to domestic violence. Yet, when players like Hardy are charged or accused of these crimes the right call seems to slip right through the NFL’s hands.
In Hardy’s case, the right verdict seems to have slipped through many hands. He was convicted of domestic abuse against Holder in a bench trial in 2014. Hardy appealed the conviction seeking a jury trial. The case was thrown out though in February 2015 when Holder stopped cooperating with authorities. In fact, Hardy’s record was actually expunged this week, meaning his record does not even show these charges at all. Yes, that’s right, Hardy’s record is clean.
It’s time for the NFL to make the right call on this, late or not, and ban Hardy for at least another year. It’s time for their actions to finally start mirroring their words and PR campaigns. It’s time for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys to take action against a person who is not being stopped, but rather enabled by being allowed to play. It’s time for me to stop writing about this human piece of garbage.