Yet another problem with the National Football League came to light this past week with the photo publishing of Nicole Holder, injured and bruised by the hands of then boyfriend and current Dallas Cowboys’ star Greg Hardy.
Deadspin published 47 pictures of Holder’s various bodily injuries. Hardy was convicted for the 2014 assault; however, on appeal, Holder stopped cooperating.
The Charlotte Observer reported the District Attorney in charge of pursuing the case had “reliable knowledge” that Hardy paid off Holder and reached settlement in a civil suit.
The NFL saw the police report and the police pictures of the injuries, then suspended Hardy for 10 games. However, after appeal of that suspension, it was reduced to just four by arbitrator Harold Henderson.
In March, Hardy signed a $11.3 million contract for one year with the Dallas Cowboys, just over a month after charges were dismissed against him in the appeal of his conviction.
The Cowboys were aware of the domestic violence case, but did not know about the pictures, Jerry Jones, owner, president and general manager said.
It’s troubling what Jones and the Cowboys did by signing Hardy.
The Cowboys saw the police report and watched the conviction in court. You don’t need pictures to know just how bad Holder was attacked and hurt by Hardy. It was clearly laid out in the police report.
The NFL took a strong stance against Hardy by suspending him 10 games with no pay.
The problem, however, was their failure to respond to domestic violence issues in the past. Most notably is the Ray Rice case.
Rice was suspended two games for allegedly knocking out then fiance in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 2014. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice for two games. Goodell received heavy criticism for the light punishment.
The arbitrator in Hardy’s case looked back at similar cases and there is no precedent to justify the 10 game suspension. The NFL can do nothing about the decision. Only the Cowboys and Jones can do something.
The Cowboys are on the hook for Hardy’s contract. They knew darn well what they would be getting themselves into. The Cowboys should just pay Hardy to not play football. Hardy has no reason to be on the field — but Jones and his Cowboys don’t realize that.
The Cowboys need to do the right thing and remove Hardy from their roster. But when does Jerry Jones ever do the right thing?