Since Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones lacks the courage to pink slip the talented defender, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell must step in to banish Hardy immediately.
Jones’ and Goodell’s silence and lack of action concerning Hardy’s outrageous behavior have disturbed me in light of this high profile domestic abuse case.
However, their inaction doesn’t exasperate me as much as the obvious photographic and testimonial evidence of Hardy’s violent 2014 attack on his former girl friend Nicole Holder.
Originally convicted in a bench trial in North Carolina, Hardy subsequently appealed for a jury trial. Charges were dropped and later expunged from the football player’s record when girl friend Holder refused to testify against him in the case. The battered woman agreed to a financial settlement with Hardy and has since remained mute.
Though the NFL originally gave Hardy a 10 game suspension for his abusive behavior, the suspension was later reduced to only 4 games.
The storm of public discontent swirling around Hardy’s case reached Category 5 status last week. Deadspin released photos and court transcripts of the Hardy legal proceedings that instantly sparked outrage – and rightfully so.
Last week, disturbing photos of Hardy’s girl friend’s welts and bruises surfaced. In addition, gripping testimony that revealed Nicole Holder pleading desperately to Hardy as he choked, “Just kill me,” was made public.
Though Dallas Cowboys’ management and owner Jerry Jones knew of these Deadspin docs, they did nothing about it. Instead, they supported Hardy and allowed him to play after his suspension was up.
During an era when the NFL’s reputation has been sullied by off-field legal issues, many of which involve domestic abuse, the Hardy case serves as a poignant bellwether.
However, neither Goodell nor Jones has rung the bell – yet – in this outrageous Hardy imbroglio. Their silence, inactivity and, most importantly, lack of true leadership ring hollow not just to football fans. It strikes to the core of anyone even remotely familiar with Hardy’s egregious actions.
Commissioner Goodell needs to follow the lead of a hunger-striking grad student and an NCAA Division 1 football team in Missouri. With their bold actions, they elicited dramatic change at their university.
It’s time for Goodell to courageously step up and exercise his power as the head of the largest professional sports league in America. He needs to navigate through all the necessary legal maneuverings necessary quickly and banish Hardy in order to send a clear signal for the future integrity and standards of the NFL.
Make Hardy the prime example that domestic abuse will not be tolerated and that a price will be paid for those who engage in such deplorable behavior.
NFL fans – and especially women everywhere – anxiously await the Commissioner’s next move.
Yes, Greg Hardy has got to go. Now!
And, that’s my 2 cents!
MIKE on sports!