The Dallas Cowboys signed former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy to a one-year contract yesterday (Wednesday).
In 2014, Hardy was suspended for most of the season after he was charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder. Hardy appealed, and the charges were eventually dropped because Holder did not cooperate with the court after Hardy gave her a “financial settlement,”.
Hardy’s status is still under review with the NFL, but if he is declared active and plays all 16 games, he could make over $13 million with the Dallas Cowboys this year.
Dallas sports broadcaster Dale Hansen (ABC affiliate News 8 WFAA) ripped the Cowboys for signing Hardy, saying “Funny how so many teams would pass on such a great talent only because he beat up his former girlfriend, but your Cowboys didn’t.”
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones addressed Hardy’s arrest in this (partial) statement:
“We have spent a great deal of time over the last two days in meeting with Greg directly and gaining a solid understanding of what he is all about as a person and as a football player. A thorough background review of him, involving many elements of our organization, has been ongoing for the last few weeks.
“Obviously a great deal of our study was dedicated to the issue of domestic violence, and the recent events that associated Greg with that issue. We know that Greg’s status remains under review by the National Football League.
“Our organization understands the very serious nature of domestic violence in our society and in our league. We know that Greg has a firm understanding of those issues as well.”
DALE HANSEN UNPLUGGED: Commentary – Greg Hardy | Dallas Cowboys
BONUS VIDEO: A little perspective/history: No love lost between Dale Hansen and Jerry Jones
Courtesy: Martin Garcia (YouTube subscriber that apparently loves Dale Hansen) video published on Aug 26, 2014
Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings calls Greg Hardy signing a “shot in the gut”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings [D] denounced the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday for signing defensive end Greg Hardy, who has been accused of domestic abuse, calling it a “shot in the gut” for Cowboys fans.
“At some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women,” said Rawlings, who as mayor has made opposition to domestic abuse a high priority.
“So this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys anytime soon.”
By plunging into the heated discussion surrounding the Cowboys’ decision — even going so far as to call team officials to ask them about it — Rawlings went out of his way to make his displeasure with the team known. His involvement was extraordinary for a mayor who has publicly confined his interest in the team to that of a fan.
Last season, Rawlings celebrated a Cowboys victory in owner Jerry Jones’ suite. On Thursday, he pitted himself against the franchise.
Rawlings spoke with The Dallas Morning News about his reaction to the Hardy deal. Also interviewing the mayor was Dale Hansen, the WFAA-TV (Channel 8) sportscaster who the evening before blasted the Cowboys on the air, asking, “Is there no line you won’t cross? Is there no crime you won’t accept?”
Hardy, then with the Carolina Panthers, missed all but the first game of the 2014 season because of the case. He signed a one-year, up-to-$13.1 million deal with the Cowboys this week, but the NFL has yet to rule on whether he’ll be able to play.
Rawlings said the attention surrounding pro athletes accused of domestic violence has clarified public opposition to abuse.
“You never, never, never hit a woman,” he said. “In this case, common knowledge says he did. It’s unacceptable.”
Rawlings has emerged as Dallas’ leading advocate for domestic violence victims since he took on the issue and held a men’s rally against abuse in 2013. Current and former Cowboys spoke at the rally and participated in his campaign, which drew national attention.
The news that his hometown team had signed Hardy unsettled him enough that he called his contacts at the Cowboys Thursday to talk about it.
“This makes you take pause and say, is that setting the example that we want?” he said.
Rawlings said Cowboys officials reassured him they “took this very seriously.” The mayor said team officials conducted background checks and structured Hardy’s contract in a way that would hold him accountable.
Jones said much the same thing after announcing Hardy’s signing.
“Our organization understands the very serious nature of domestic violence in our society and in our league,” the Cowboys owner said. “We know that Greg has a firm understanding of those issues as well.”
A die-hard Cowboys fan, Rawlings said he’s not ready to stop rooting for America’s Team. But, he said, “that doesn’t mean I have to agree with every play that’s called and every person that’s hired.”
“And in this case, I don’t.”