Chris Berman began the solemn segment with these words, “Now the reminder that not all is fun and games — far from it.” Berman went on to describe how Greg Hardy, a defensive lineman currently playing for the Dallas Cowboys (then playing with the Carolina Panthers) was convicted of viciously beating his former girlfriend back in 2014 in a room filled with assault weapons. Berman also detailed how Hardy’s lawyers, through a series of legal maneuvers and paying off his ex-girlfriend eventually got the case thrown out and the record expunged. On Friday. the website Deadspin released several pictures (and hundreds of pages of court documents) showing the damage Hardy did to the woman, and yes — they were graphic and disturbing. The release of the pictures (which can be seen in the video below) has sparked a debate on whether Hardy should be in the league at all.
Here’s how the victim of the attack described the events of that night;
Barefoot and frightened, Nicole Holder walked as fast as she could through the darkness, and the moment she saw the cops she ran. She headed west on Fifth Street toward North Church, away from the Charlotte., N.C., apartment of Greg Hardy, a star defensive end then with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Minutes earlier he had, she said, thrown her against a tile bathtub wall, tossed her on a futon covered in assault rifles, and choked her until she told him to “kill me so I don’t have to.”
Officer Jeffrey Kendrick ran after her, ordering her to stop. Holder turned and walked toward him, and Kendrick asked her why she was crying.
“It doesn’t matter,” she told him. “Nothing is going to happen to him anyways.”
NFL cheerleaders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson attempted to defend the Cowboys and their actions. It was a half-hearted defense at best, but for this pair, they know if they are too critical, their access to the inside of the NFL world would probably be stifled.
Wendi Nix had no such burdens. The ESPN reporter tore into the Cowboys. She began by asking “what has changed?” — referring to pictures released on Friday from the 2014 beating. “Did I need to see the bullet holes in the victim to know what Aaron Hernandez did?” Nix rhetorically asked. She then went on to point out that she does not blame Hardy for accepting the contract offered to him by the Cowboys, but rather questions why the Cowboys offered it in the first place.
In his statement, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that his organization “does not condone domestic violence” Nix pointed out that by signing Hardy, he most certainly did. From where she sits, nothing has changed despite the NFL’s big promises of “seriously dealing with domestic violence.” Outside of Ray Rice, who happens to play a position where decent performers aren’t that hard to find (very few running backs even get drafted in the first round anymore), nothing really has been done in the NFL and actions like this reinforce the notion that the league is just paying lip service and scapegoating Rice in lieu of any actual and meaningful action. She also put out the word to all those sponsors out there that they might want to reconsider who they do business with.
Nix, fortunately, was not alone in her assessments. As she spoke, most of the five-person crew were nodding along, in seeming agreement.
After she finished, longtime Countdown host Tom Jackson continued the pounding. He pointed out that like Nix, he didn’t need to see the pictures released on Friday to be repulsed. More importantly, though, Jackson stated, “it’s not what I think of the pictures, it’s what Jerry Jones thinks of the pictures, what the National Football League thinks of the pictures.” He emphasized the impression they are giving to all of us that it is all about profit for billionaires like Jones, and to hell with the beaten woman — they got a game to win, after all!
The NFL has severely failed since the Ray Rice incident to actually do anything meaningful in the area of domestic violence prevention. In fact, they seem to be going the opposite way by both reducing Hardy’s initial suspension from 10 games to 4 and by allowing him to play at all — especially with no evidence that he has even gotten any help with his psychotic issues before accepting that big check. A check he got because Jerry Jones and the NFL seem to believe that a great pass rush is more important than a beaten woman.
Check out the emotional video HERE;
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com