Column: The NFL has a Greg Hardy problem

In this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, file photo, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy watches from the sideline during a game against the Seattle Seahawks in Arlington, Texas.  Hardy tweeted "regret" on Saturday night, Nov. 7, after photos of his bruised ex-girlfriend from his domestic violence case were released by Deadspin a day earlier. (AP)

This week, Deadspin published the harrowing details and photographs of Greg Hardy’s domestic violence case. The piece told the story of the night Hardy assaulted his victim, Nicole Holder.

The story itself isn’t new. The incident took place during the night and morning of May 12 and 13, 2014.  Hardy hosted Holder and other friends at his apartment, where he proudly displayed several assault rifles on his couch.

According to Holder, the group began drinking champagne and shots of liquor. Hardy allegedly left the group to go to his recording studio. In his absence, Holder and friends did bumps of cocaine.

Hardy met up with the group at a dive bar known for arcade games and skee ball. They left to go to a different establishment. This is where the night took a turn.

At the second bar, Holder claims the group had four bottles of champagne, tequila shots and multiple mixed drinks. “To top everything off,” Holder would later testify, “a Nelly song came on.”

Deadspin wrote, “Nelly had previously been a point of contention between Holder and Hardy. The two had plans to travel on her birthday in March, she told police, but he cancelled, and so she spent her birthday at her job and walked out with Nelly. From there, she went with the rapper to the Ritz-Carlton. Hardy, she told detectives, found out; she wasn’t sure how, though she believed one of his Panthers teammates saw her leaving Suite Charlotte with Nelly and told him.”

This sparked an argument between Hardy and Holder. It quickly escalated.

“I tried to get up, he pushed me,” Holder said, “then I started fighting back, he threw me into the bathroom, I hit the back of the shower wall and fell into the bathtub where he pulled me out.”

“He dragged her out by her hair and picked her up again, she said, throwing her onto the futon, which had several weapons—what she described as ‘guns from ... the Army or ... I mean like from video games’—on it. She landed on top of the rifles and then fell onto the floor. In her telling, he stood above her and strangled her with both his hands. She would later tell Detective Faye Strother that she thought she was going to die. ‘His pupils were tiny,” she said. “I mean he looked ... crazy,’” Deadspin reported.

Deadspin’s story has copies of the graphic police reports, 911 transcripts and photographic evidence of Holder’s beaten body.

A member of the Carolina Panthers at the time, Hardy was sentenced to an 18-month suspension and a 60-day prison stay. In his appeal, Holder never appeared in court. Deadspin insinuated that Holder was intimidated or paid off by Hardy to not testify.

Hardy was placed on the exempt list by the Panthers and continued to get paid, in spite of only appearing in one game in 2014. In May 2015, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for 10 games. Hardy’s appeal got that suspension reduced to four games. This week, Hardy’s criminal record was expunged.

Greg Hardy assaulted a woman, threatened to kill her and intimidated her into not testifying against him.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Greg Hardy a leader on his team.

Greg Hardy is human garbage, indicative of the current state of Roger Goodell’s NFL.


Elan-Paolo DeCarlo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at elan-paolo.decarlo@uconn.edu. He tweets @ElanDeCarlo.