Greg Hardy has decided to continue playing while appealing his conviction of domestic abuse on July 15.
The Wire is reporting that a media firestorm had hit the NFL since the Ray Rice situation began. Whereas Rice was never convicted officially of any wrongdoing, the video footage of Rice inside the elevator is damning enough. The NFL has no such video of Hardy’s case, but with Hardy, they have a conviction in a court of law.
The Carolina Panthers have not disciplined Hardy, claiming they would like justice to take the time it needs to find the truth. This has not been the standard rationale for the NFL. When Ben Roethlisburger was accused, he was suspended for six games. Once the video came public, Ray Rice’s suspension went from just two games to being suspended indefinitely. The only evidence in Hardy’s case was the testimony of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder.
According to police reports and evidence given by Nicole Holder, on the night of May 13 the defensive end threw her into a bathtub, tossed her onto a futon covered in assault rifles, put his hands around her throat, and threatened to kill her. Holder also said that the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Hardy ripped her necklace off, threw it into the toilet, and then proceeded to slam the lid on her arm when she tried to retrieve it. Hardy claims that it was Holder who hit him and continues to deny the charges.
“The court is entirely convinced Hardy is guilty of assault on a female and communicating threats,” Judge Rebecca Thorn-Tin said at the trail’s end.
The New York Times is reporting that Hardy did not report to practice on Wednesday, but has been there every other day. The team later said the day off was given due to personal issues. Hardy has suffered no other suspensions for this crime. Hardy was unavailable for interviews Friday (September 12). Rivera re-emphasized that the team was following the league’s stance of waiting until the legal process had completed its investigation.
Hardy was found guilty in a bench trial, but under criminal procedure in North Carolina, lawyers can appeal that ruling. Hardy has elected to do so, and has chosen a trial by jury instead. Given the way the NFL reacted so quickly in the other domestic violence cases, it will be interesting to see how the NFL responds when Hardy’s appeals trial has concluded.
[Image courtesy of Cage 8]