Greg Hardy: A Study in NFL Apathy 

The idea of the snarling, run-a-muck Black male is at least as old as the Jamestown, Virginia settlement. 

Today it is used to minimize the intelligence of Black males across the globe. The Shadow League actively fights against those negative stereotypes. However, in the case of Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Hardy, those racist lies that were once murmured around the dinner tables and workplaces of bigots now have a false semblance of truth to them.    

Not long ago, the Ray Rice situation was frowned upon as everything wrong with the National Football League. A bunch of young millionaires who operate unchallenged by law and decency in the general society. Yes, that’s a bit excessive when you lay it out there like that. Then, when Commissioner Roger Goodell gave Rice a four game suspension, there was a ground swell among conscientious men and women across the country who stepped forward to voice their disdain.

If you all recall, Ray Rice was initially seen on video dragging the limp body of his unconscious girlfriend-turned-wife from an elevator at an Atlantic City hotel. However, that wasnt enough for some.  Arguments of Well, you dont know what happened, She was drunk and She might have attacked him proliferated social media, the blogosphere and sports talk radio call-in lines. 


Fast forward to last year, when the particulars of Greg Hardys savagery were brought to light, and domestic violence apologists were saying many of the same things about Hardy that they said about Rice. But as bad as the Ray Rice scenario was, even before the video inside the elevator revealed the nauseating manner in which his current wife was knocked unconscious, the Greg Hardy situation is proving to be even more disgusting. 

For a true estimate regarding the appropriate level of outrage that everyone, especially NFL fans, should demand from the people they have helped turn into millionaires, we have to take it back to May 2014. That’s when Greg Hardy was arrested by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on two misdemeanor charges of assault on a female and communicating threats.

Chris Flaklo, Hardys attorney at the time, told reporters the altercation started because the woman, who says she had been in a relationship with Hardy since September 2013 at the time of the incident, attacked Hardy and a friend at his home at North Tryon Street and refused to leave when asked. He also pointed out that it was Hardy himself who called the police. 

But an arrest warrant obtained by the Charlotte Observer got a little deeper in the nitty-gritty of it all. Hardy is said to have thrown the woman on the floor, into a bathtub, slamming her onto a futon littered with guns and strangling her.  According to the warrant, Greg Hardy is also alleged to have threatened to kill her. 

At that point, it was more of a story of he said versus she said and many fans simply ignored the story altogether.  I mean, the very idea of a Pro Bowl caliber defensive end beating on a woman? Man, just imagining something like that happening to one of my family or friends makes me see red. But people love football and behave ambiguously when a player they like, or who may push their team over the top, is accused of violence against women. The NFL has been ridiculously lenient against abusers in the past, the NBA as well for that matter.

Hardy would be found guilty of assault in July 2014 and would appeal for a bench trial immediately.

He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me. I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly, I said, Just do it. Kill me. At that point I accepted I was going to die, said Holder of the night in question.

Hardy was allegedly angry at Holder over a relationship she had or was having with rapper and part Charlotte Hornets owner, Nelly. But the reason really doesnt matter. Last year there was much prognosticating about whether Greg Hardy had seen his last days as an NFL player. This was heightened exponentially when other NFL players (Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald, Ray Rice) began proliferating the news with their abusive shenanigans as well. Hardy was initially suspended for 10 games without pay by the NFL for conduct detrimental to the league back in may. However, it was reduced to four games thanks in large part the NFL Players Association, whose mandate is to protect players no matter the charge or incident.

The entire scenario looks like a cluster (expletive) from whichever angle it is observed. Roger Goodell was obligated to come down hard on Hardy thanks to his handling of the Ray Rice situation (though I thought the suspension should have been for an entire year). The NFL Player Associations defense of players like Hardy (though they really didnt have a choice in the matter). The state of North Carolinas mile-wide loophole for criminal justice system that Hardy wiggled through. Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys continually defending their decision to give this man a job despite his heinous deeds and those fans who continually conjure up excuses until the very moment this piece is being pinned.

For his part, Greg Hardy has shown very little sincerity when addressing the issue.

Hardys accuser became uncooperative with authorities in the time leading up to an appealed for jury trial and the case was dropped. Police say Holder was payed off.

On November 6, Deadspin obtained photos of bruises and red marks that covered Holders neck, chest, stomach and back, and a number of individuals who had been on Hardys side of the dialectic have since segued to hesitance when defending him. But thats disingenuous as well considering that he was actually convicted of a crime before he appealed. Then there are those who say it was a money grab by Nicole Holder. 

Lets suppose for a second it was a money grab; then Hardys foolishness is exponentially more apparent. But the victim blamers fail to take into account that she did testify against Hardy initially and is on record saying how she feared for her life. Contrary to popular belief, many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault agonize over legal proceedings as it causes them to relive the trauma. They just want to get it over with. Its something that people who have never been disrespected in such ways cram to understand, but it’s a heavily documented fact.

Greg Hardys record has been expunged by the State of North Carolina, so as far as theyre concerned, this never happened.

But we know it happened.

Outside of the photos, Hardys idiotic Twitter bio (that has since been removed) claiming innocence and victimization, and NFL fans who would rather act as if its not a big deal, the nation is left disgusted as were forced to breathe this miasma of. Because, as much as everyone is all up in arms over this entire sordid affair, nobody is willing to sacrifice watching football and advertisers like Budweiser arent going to stop doing business with the NFL in order to make a point that is dying to be made.

That point being not doing business with people who do business with woman beaters.

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