Last week, the NFL announced a six-game reduction to the original ten-game suspension announced for Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy last April. In the process, there seems to be some overreaction by some.
I’ll start off by offering the standard disclaimer: I do not support violence against women, children or anybody else. True self-defense might be one thing, but similar cases involving NFL players don’t generally fall into that latter category, right?
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
Having said that, it always takes two to tango. And sometimes the facts surrounding any type of domestic dispute are difficult, if not impossible, to establish.
Such is the case with Hardy.
Consider these over-the-top comments from Comcast Sports New England writer Gary Tanguay:
"In the name of humanity, how can the NFL reduce — by more than half! — the suspension of a man who, according to police reports, slammed his ex-girlfriend on pile of automatic weapons that were spread across a bed? The only reason he avoided jail time was because the victim didn’t show up in court."
Tanguay also adds that he wanted to “throw up in my mouth,” as though there’s some other place that he could vomit.
Now, here’s a clear example of somebody writing from a completely emotional standpoint, as opposed to actually gathering facts. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but it’s not a major credibility builder.
Tanguay failed to realize a few things, starting with the fact that this case wasn’t dropped simply because alleged victim Nicole Holder failed to show up for the trial. No, Holder didn’t fail to show up because of car trouble or something. On the contrary, she completely vanished following a reported financial settlement reached with Hardy, possibly illustrating where the priorities actually were.
Further, the prosecution in this case had concerns about inconsistencies in Holder’s original testimony that it felt might not fly in court very well, thus leaving questions about what actually happened during the evening in question. Tanguay, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and others probably should have read this before reacting or saying what they did.
Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw is on record this week stating that Goodell acted inappropriately in his original suspension of Hardy, possibly on purpose.
I can’t agree more.
See, this is not like the Ray Rice incident, where a man in an elevator is clearly seen knocking his then-fiancee out cold. There’s no question what happened here.
We just can’t say the same about the Hardy case, because all accusations came from a person that allegedly chose money over justice.
Terry O’Neill is the director of the National Organization for Women and she recently offered the following to ESPN columnist Tani Ganguli:
"What’s very very sad is that nothing has come out of the NFL that indicates a real commitment to ending the violence-against-women problem that they have in the NFL. The only thing that comes out of the leadership of the NFL is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys is thrilled to have a talented athlete on the field and says nothing about the victim of the domestic violence. I think that it’s very sad to me. It’s pushing football way down the wrong path."
Well, I think we know enough about the victim in this case.
As far as the NFL going down the wrong path, this could be true. However, it’s a mega-billion dollar industry that simply isn’t in the business of creating upstanding citizens – sorry to say that but it’s the simple truth.
If domestic violence is to truly to be eliminated, it won’t have a thing to do with the NFL or any other sports or entertainment entity, period.
This project begins with society, in general.
So long as there’s this kind of money flying around professional football, expect for these incidents, either true or false, to continue.