I’m pretty certain every member of the media expected that Greg Hardy, the Pro-Bowl defensive end formerly of the Carolina Panthers now playing for Dallas, to say all the right things in his return right?
Perhaps we expected that a 4-game suspension would completely change his outlook on things - make him a poster boy for rehabilitation. Apparently not.
Firstly, what Hardy was arrested for initially: A judge found Hardy guilty of assaulting a female and communicating threats, and sentenced to him 18 months probation, suspending a 60 day jail sentence. The decision was appealed by Hardy who then requested a trial by jury. The accuser failed to appear to give her testimony and the charges were ultimately dropped. The NFL suspended Hardy for 10 games but through mediation with an arbiter Hardy’s suspension was reduced from 10 games to 4 games.
Cut to present time and Hardy is not only non-apologetic but seemingly without tact or common sense.
Hardy’s statements regarding coming out “guns blazing” were insensitive and insulting considering he was charged with throwing his girlfriend onto a futon covered with at least four semiautomatic rifles and three other guns. Hardy went on to talk about wanting to see Tom Brady’s wife and her sisters at the game.
With respect to comment regarding guns it’s hard to say whether Hardy is simply just using a cliche without fully grasping the gravity of his words or if he is completely unremorseful and brazen.
Unfortunately the NFL is big on handing out suspensions and fines but not actually addressing the issue at hand, they allow Hardy to continue his employment and we all agree that second chances are important but no call for continued counseling. Punishment is not rehabilitation and it shows the NFL still doesn’t get it. The NFL created this climate and if something else happens with Hardy on their watch, it falls upon the shoulders of the league and its inability to do the right thing. The blame also falls upon the Cowboys organization.
After signing Greg Hardy, Jerry Jones said all the right things, “Our organization understands the very serious nature of this matter. We will use our resources – work closely with Greg and with the league – to ensure a positive outcome.” Allowing Hardy’s comments to go unchecked and with no reprimand is the first step in doing things the exact wrong way. The unfortunate thing is that no one is shocked, the NFL has never shown an interest in women beyond lip-service and pink pom-poms.