Mailbag: Greg Hardy is Innocent! Get Over it!


Sep 7, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week my article, Greg Hardy a Dallas Cowboy?: The Devil is in the Details, sparked a few email responses to the Ol’ Mailbag. While many are in support of avoiding a player like Hardy, a few were very much in favor of adding a player like Hardy. And still some seemed to have missed the point and clearly didn’t ready the entire article. Hey, it happens…

I make it a point to reply to all emails, either privately by a reply email, or publicly in the mailbag. Here is Maco95 seemingly in favor of a player like Greg Hardy

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"You all need to face facts and accept that Greg Hardy is innocent. The case was dismissed. If they would have had a case, it would have held up under appeal. I’m not saying he didn’t do anything wrong but if the court found him innocent then he probably is.-Maco95"

Maco95, I appreciate the email and the way you express a dissenting voice without foul language or rude behavior. I can’t say the same about all the emails this week! I do wonder if you read through all the details I provided last week.

The biggest takeaway from the article is this,

"Greg Hardy’s case was dismissed because he paid off the victim, outside of court, so she wouldn’t testify against him."

Keep in mind, Greg Hardy was already found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Upon appeal he convinced the victim to disappear and avoid subpoena. The DA stated they have “reliable knowledge” that Hardy paid the victim money to settle the issue, giving the DA no choice but to drop the case.

The only reason the case was dismissed is because the victim could not be found. The DA could have continued without her testimony, but rarely will do so if the victim won’t willingly testify. That’s why so many domestic abuse situations get tossed out of court.

Look back, Ray Rice didn’t even go to trial. His significant other stuck by his side and wouldn’t testify against him. Without her, it’s really no case. That doesn’t take away from the fact, Ray Rice PUNCHED HER IN THE FACE.

It’s a similar situation here only we don’t have a video for the mindless masses to flip out over. The judge determined Greg Hardy hit his girlfriend in the face, dragged her by her hair from room to room, slammed her arm in the toilet, choked her, threatened her life, and then tried to pin it all on her.

That’s pretty bad stuff right there. Just because he got out of the criminal charges doesn’t mean it’s now ok. It’s not a “he said/she said” thing. It’s a pay-off, a technicality, and a weakness of our judicial system. I’m certainly not saying we should all get up and go vigilante justice on this guy. I’m just saying don’t dismiss all wrong-doing just because of what played out in court.

At this point, it looks as though the evidence is strong enough that Roger Goodell will be suspending. I would be surprised if he even played next season given the NFL’s newfound intolerance on the issue.

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion too. Perhaps I’m being a little “holier than thou” and have higher standards for players’ conduct. I know I have a much different opinion on how the league punishes substance abusers. I don’t think Josh Gordon should miss any games unless he drives under the influence or does something potentially harmful to someone else. If he wants to have a drink or 10 and conducts himself appropriately, I’m cool with that. Many people think I’m crazy for that. It’s ok, we all have very different opinions.

The important thing is to understand what happened and WHY the case was dismissed. It wasn’t a small issue. It was ugly. Much uglier than Ray Rice. No, we don’t have a video, but if video evidence was required to prove guilt we’d never prosecute anyone. There are dozens of domestic violence changes every year in US pro sports, and we ignore far too many of them because they are so hard to convict.

I feel confident enough in the case, that I wouldn’t want anything to do with Hardy. I doubt the Cowboys want to either, but we’ll see.

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