Welcome to the NFL – where football air pressure and domestic abuse suspensions apparently carry the same weight on the scale.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is playing professional football after allegedly brutally beating Nicole Holder, his ex-girlfriend.
Most football fans know Hardy’s story. Arrested in May 2014 for domestic violence, Hardy was accused of assaulting Holder by grabbing her, strangling her and threatening to kill her. Oh, and he also allegedly threw her on top of a piece of furniture that was covered in assault rifles.
Hardy started the first game of the 2014 season for his then-team, the Carolina Panthers. But on Sept. 17 of that year, Hardy was deactivated by head coach Ron Rivera and would not see the field for the remainder of the sea- son. On April 22, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for 10 games, but on July 10, Hardy’s suspension was reduced to four games by an arbiter.
I do not need to get into the complete joke that is the NFL’s disciplinary system. Before getting his suspension overturned in a court of law, Tom Brady was once suspended for the first four games, the same amount of Hardy’s reduced penalty, for “more probably than not” knowing about deflated footballs in the playoffs last season.
That is an embarrassment. But the real problem is coming from the Dallas Cowboys – Hardy’s current team.
I’m all for second chances – when they are deserved. People make mistakes. People also have the ability to show remorse for their actions and make up for any wrongdoings. But Greg Hardy has not done any of that.
In fact, he has done the exact opposite, making a mockery of his past in interview sessions with the media. But he is still out there on Sundays.
Throughout the season, there has been a ton of outcry around the NFL community complaining about the fact that Hardy is still on the field.
Last week, Hardy took to Twitter to talk about the uproar, which is always a good idea. For a few hours, Hardy’s Twitter bio read, “Innocent until proven guilty-lack of evidence & information is just ignorance- the unjust/prejudicial treatment of diff(erent) categories of people is discrimination.” These are the excuses of a man – and I use “man” lightly – that just doesn’t get it.
I know Hardy was never found guilty, because Holder decided to stop cooperating with prosecutors for whatever reason. If only there were pictures to be used as evidence for the public to see. Oh wait, there are.
Deadspin released numerous police photos of Holder (above) and the scene of the alleged crime.
If only those photos were shown to the NFL before his suspension was reduced in June. Oh wait, they were.
Nice job, NFL.
Again, I’m all for second chances. We have seen countless players come back from controversy to not only right their careers, but completely turn them around. Remember when we were all calling for Michael Vick’s head following his dog-fighting scandal?
A couple of public service announcements with the Humane Society of the United States and Vick was on his way to not one, not two, but three more contracts after his reinstatement in 2011.
Hardy is just making a fool out of himself and his team while the NFL’s puppet of a commissioner is sitting back and watching it unfold. But the Cowboys are more to blame. Last Thursday, Hardy did not show up to team meetings, but he still played on Sunday.
I have the utmost confidence that the train wreck that is Greg Hardy will eventually come to a roaring halt. Guys like Hardy eventually meet their match. And isn’t it funny how Dallas is 0-5 since activating Hardy after his four game suspension was up?
Nice karma there, huh? Keep up the good work Cowboys. Everyone is laughing at you.
David Heim is a senior journalism major from Roselle Park, N.J. He can be reached at david.heim@ student.shu.edu or on Twitter @davidheim12.