Hardy’s punishment for assaulting girlfriend was too light
Opinion Column: The Morant
I don’t get it, how do people support Dallas Cowboys player Greg Hardy? He is a worthless piece of trash, an awful human being. This opinion is based on his arrest from one year and a half ago among other incidents and comments.
Recently, on Nov. 6, Deadspin had published an article title “This Is Why NFL Star Greg Hardy Was Arrested For Assaulting His Ex-Girlfriend.” It documents the incidents of that day as well as showcasing 47 pictures that had never before been seen, some of Hardy, but most of his ex-girlfriend, the victim, Nicole Holder.
Not once has Hardy apologized for what he did, nor did he even release a public apology to the victim. On Nov. 7 he tweeted, “Just had to say I express my regret 4 what happened in past and I'm Dedicated to being the best person & teammate that I can be.”
Oh, that’s cool. You regret (allegedly) assaulting your girlfriend? You regret throwing her on top of assault rifles and threatening her life? How can anyone take this guy seriously? The case didn’t even make it to a trial. Why? Likely because Greg Hardy paid her off, a fact that leads me to the NFL. It seems no one has a clue how to deal with discipline in the NFL — Roger Goodell, that’s you. The entire system of discipline has failed in the NFL.
Hardy got a 10-game suspension during the offseason that, after appeal by an arbitrator from the National Football League Players Association, was reduced to four games. Four games, basically saying that his crime is the equivalent of smoking pot. Smoking pot and physically abusing a human being should not even be in the same realm when talking about suspension consequences.
The Cowboys failed the NFL and its fans. Look, I’m a Giants fan, and I hate the Cowboys, so maybe I’ll sound biased, but I was outraged when they signed him. I called it at the beginning of free agency for one simple reason — Jerry Jones. The man loves attention, both good and bad, but at what point does this thickheaded owner wake up and realize he’s employing a moron?
Jones recently came out calling Hardy a leader and then followed it up saying he doesn't condone domestic violence. Wait, what? Exactly. The man is ridiculous, it’s all about the success for Jerry Jones. Hmm, okay. Your team is 2-6 and going nowhere. You can blame the injuries, but I think it's just karma for a poorly run organization. Right now would be the best time to cut Hardy to please NFL fans and women around the country, but nope, Jones continues to support him. In fact, he said he’s thinking about giving him a long-term extension, proving that Jones will never understand.
The Cowboys say they never saw the photos of what Hardy had done, but considering that there were multiple 911 calls, and also knowing it wasn’t pretty, you’d think they would have backed off. Also, their fans on Twitter have been driving me nuts. One would think they wouldn’t support this guy, would they? But they do, even their female fans. It’s just sad. Most explained if the Cowboys cut him, someone else would pick him up. No they wouldn’t, because no other organization is dumb enough to employ him and bring such bad publicity to their organization.
If we could go back in time and look at the situation with fresh eyes, I honestly think I would have just gave him the Pete Rose treatment. In fact, I think he should still be given it today. A player like this doesn’t belong anywhere close to the game. He gives it a bad name and a bad look.
The Carolina Panthers, Hardy’s former employer, knew exactly what they were doing. They handled the situation. After more findings were released after Week 1 of the 2014 season, the Panthers put him on the NFL’s exempt list. He didn’t play another down for Carolina missing the final 16 games of their season.
I think ESPN anchor Wendy Nix put it best: There will be outcry, but actions speak louder than words and money is most important in Jerry Jones’s eyes. So the Cowboys' biggest sponsors should take a stand and send a message by threatening to end their deals. Maybe that would wake up Jerry. It is pretty sad that it would take a materialistic thing, like money to do this.
The writing was on the wall with Hardy whether it was about his Twin Towers comment, or among many other poor decisions that have been well-publicized. The reality of this situation is that Greg Hardy should not be in the NFL, but apparently talent trumps all and it’s disappointing to see. Hardy better watch his back for the rest of the season — he has a target on it.
Ryan Moran is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies and economics. His column, “The Morant,” runs on alternate Fridays.