Greg Hardy has a job in the NFL because he plays Bud Dupree Jerseyfootball well. Ray Rice doesn't because his play slipped his last season. We all know that, and it has been repeated often.
And, in Rice's case, a horrible video emerged. Without that, he'd probably have an NFL job.
No video ever emerged from the incident that led to Hardy being arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, but now the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys should have to answer for a fantastic story by Deadspin's Diana Moskovitz, in which she uses police reports and interview transcripts to paint a frightening picture of Hardy beating and choking his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder.
And there are pictures.
Maybe visual evidence is what was needed to turn up the pressure on Hardy, http://www.steelersnflofficialonline.com/Authentic-Bud-Dupree-Jerseythe NFL and the Cowboys, because for some reason we need that. It's not like we didn't know many horrible details of the Rice incident well before the infamous video from inside the elevator, which showed Rice punching his then-fiancee, emerged. But once the video emerged, Rice was basically thrown out of the NFL. Most of the ugly details from Hardy's alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend has been known for a while. The stories of what happened that night were known before Dallas gave Hardy a contract with a base value of $11.3 million, according to OverTheCap.com. Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer said that the NFL had access to all the photos Deadspin published, and seven that weren't in the case file. The Dallas Morning News said the Cowboys hadn't seen them before they signed Hardy.
But visual evidence matters to public opinion in today's age for some reason, and Deadspin had dozens of photos of Holder's bruised body. Here's one:
Go read the Deadspin story for all of the gory details and the photos. The story is hard to read but important. At one point it quotes Holder telling a detective that after Hardy dragged her by her hair, http://www.steelersnflofficialonline.com/Authentic-Bud-Dupree-Jerseythrew her on a futon with assault rifles and strangled her with both hands, she thought, "He was gonna kill me, this is it ... this is the time. He's actually gonna do it." She also told an officer on the night in question, according to Deadspin, “It doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to happen to him anyways.” That has turned out to be prophetic.
The Deadspin story paints a picture, via Hardy's ex-girlfriend's words, in which he then tried to create a scene in which he claimed she attacked him, at one point “agitating her several times trying to get her to flip out on him." Hardy has stuck to his story that she attacked him and caused the injuries to herself. Prosecutors have long believed that Holder reached a civil settlement with Hardy, and could not be tracked down to testify at appeal. Without Holder to testify at the appeal, Hardy won after he first was convicted of assault at a bench trial. The Charlotte Observer reported that according to Hardy's lawyer, his domestic violence charges have been expunged from the record.
The real problem, when it comes Randy Gregory Jerseyto the NFL and specifically the Cowboys, is that none of this is really new. There are some new details, the story is well written, the photos hadn't been public before, and the backlash at the publication of the story was harsh. But the Cowboys knew all of the basics of the case long before they decided to sign Hardy. They signed him anyway. It's not like the team can claim ignorance.
So why would anything change? The Cowboys were well aware of Hardy's actions that caused a four-game suspension from the NFL, and for him to miss all but one game last season while he fought the case in court. The Cowboys have doubled down on enabling Hardy, excusing some erratic behavior by Hardy during the season. Jerry Jones even said Hardy was "one of the real leaders" of the team he owns, the kind of dumb quote that he should be reminded of often. Jones is a smart businessman but that's a ridiculous and offensive comment that should and will follow him around as long as Hardy is with the Cowboys. And the Cowboys have publicly said they want to sign Hardy to an extension, which boggles the mind.
The Cowboys wanted a defensive end who can rush the quarterback. Hardy has done that. He's http://www.officialcowboysnflstore.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_RANDY_GREGORY_JERSEY.htmlexactly what the Cowboys figured they were getting, on the field and off of it too, unfortunately. The Cowboys sold a bit of their soul to sign Hardy in their quest to win football games.
The Cowboys didn't really care then. I'm not sure pictures or a really startling story of abuse will force them to care now.