Pay to Play: Greg Hardy, Domestic Violence and the NFL

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy beat up his girlfriend, got charged for the crime, was cut by the Carolina Panthers, found a new home with the Dallas Cowboys, then served a four game suspension (reduced from ten games) for his actions. And that, my friends, is how you pay to play. The 27-year-old athlete signed an $11.3 million contract with the Cowboys after being dumped – and rightfully so — by the Carolina Panthers. He was back on the field Sunday night for the Cowboys’ 33-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the latest fiasco involving yet another NFL superstar and domestic violence, another privileged and pretentious, arrogant and indulgent, elitist and entitled overpaid athlete is allowed by Roger Goodell and the League to play despite the latest evidence against him. Pictures of Hardy’s injured girlfriend surfaced Friday, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

Here’s the story:

The Dallas Cowboy star defensive end was arrested last year for assaulting his then-girlfriend. Nearly 50 photographs of the woman’s injuries have surfaced online and people are now questioning why he is still allowed to wear an NFL uniform, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

The May 2014 attack left Nicole Holder with bruises all over her body. She told police Hardy threw her against a bathroom wall, dragged her by her hair onto a futon covered with guns and also tried to strangle her.

“I’m seeing someone who had just gotten the hell beaten out of her,” described staff writer Kyle Wagner. “She worried that no matter what she said, nothing would happen to him. And it turns out that she was mostly right.”

If Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, too often more concerned about winning games than doing the right thing, really wanted to make a strong statement that he is all-in on the NFL’s improved personal conduct policy after the Ray Rice crisis, he would have cut Hardy on Friday. Of course, he never should have signed him.

Hardy was found guilty by a judge last year, then he appealed. The case was dropped when Holder did not make herself available to testify — the district attorney said she reached a settlement with Hardy.

It appears by all that Hardy paid off Holder in order to squash the case and silence her testimony. It’s call “hush money.” It’s also called pay to play.

And it’s all such a shame. Allowing Hardy to play is just wrong. If domestic violence is wrong, and it is, then it’s wrong for everybody, not just the ones that can’t get a new contract with a new team. It absolutely sends the wrong message. It’s the wrong thing to allow a criminal — because that’s what people who commit crimes and are found guilty are called – to continue to play in the NFL.


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