I tried to leave the Greg Hardy topic alone. I didn’t want to write anything about it because I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. I wanted to stay out of the conversation because I knew my opinion wasn’t going to be liked by a lot of fans.
But the more I stewed on it, the more people I talked to, the more I didn’t want to leave it alone. It had more to do with tweets I was seeing from high school football coaches than anything else. They weren’t afraid to be vocal about it, so why should I stand on the sidelines and watch while the debate raged on from one side and the other?
The Dallas Cowboys did what was best for them and signed the player who would help them on the football field. Whether Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, or Jason Garrett thought about the repercussions off the field is something we’ll never know. Jerry said they did their due diligence when it came to looking into Hardy’s background and still decided to give him a contract that could be worth up to $13.1 million.
Then there was good ‘ole Dale Hansen who, when he chimes in, you know came gun’s blazing. He did just that this past week when he admonished not only the Cowboys for bringing in Hardy but he went after the owner’s daughter, Charlotte, who is on the NFL’s conduct committee, and head coach Jason Garrett, who he called a “hypocrite.”
The bosses’ daughter responded on Saturday and gave her seal of approval on the signing. Though did anyone expect she would give a differing opinion of that of her father and brother?
There’s no question Hansen crossed the line a few times in his rant against Hardy and he could have said what he needed to say without taking personal shots at people who may not have been in favor of the signing in the first place.
Hansen, however, wasn’t alone in voicing their displeasure. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also gave reporters his opinion on the Hardy signing and he too was not happy about it.
“I’m a big Cowboys fan. I love them to death and I want them to beat the Eagles every time they play. But at some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys any time soon.”
People talk about giving others a second chance, especially after the Cowboys allowed Josh Brent to stay with the club after the incident he was involved in.
I understand those who come from that side of the argument.
But here’s the question it brings up in my own mind: would you be so forgiving if that player was, say, Ray Rice? Was Rice’s situation worse than Hardy’s only because it was caught on camera? Yes the charges against Hardy were dismissed on appeal after the prosecution’s star witness didn’t show up (assume what you want to about the why) but should we ignore that he was found guilty by a judge the first time around?
Here’s the real reason I couldn’t leave this topic alone and it came about after I saw a tweet from Josh Ragsdale, the head football coach of Adamson High School, about the signing.
“Would love for Jerry Jones and/or Jason Garrett to come to Adamson HS and look my young men in the eye and explain the Hardy signing.”
I won’t put words in Coach Ragsdale’s mouth because he has his own opinions when it comes to this topic, but how do Jones and Garrett answer the question, “Coach Garrett, Mr. Jones, can you explain why you give someone accused, and found guilty of by a judge the first time around, of domestic violence up to $13.1 million?”
Aside from the Cowboys, the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were interested in Hardy. Aren’t there 30 teams in the NFL? So 27 teams, some who could definitely use someone of Hardy’s talents, including the Carolina Panthers, who let him hit free agency in the first place, didn’t want to even kick the tires on bringing him in? Why?
I don’t know Greg Hardy. I don’t know what he’s like on or even off the field. All I know is what has been talked about in the media and what I’ve read in doing my research on the case. Seeing fans on Twitter defend what Hardy did because “he should be able to defend himself,” is one of the more asinine arguments I’ve seen.
The best? It came from Mike Fisher of 105.3 FM The Fan who simply said, in a retort to fans during a debate on Twitter, “walk away.” He’s right.
Josh Brent was remorseful for what he did that took the life of a teammate. The family of the victim even reached out to Jerry Jones and said that they were behind Josh and wanted him to stay with the Dallas Cowboys. The debate on him staying or going from ‘America’s Team’ was a hot one but not nearly as hot as the one going on right now around the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex.
Ray Rice has even issued a public apology yet do you know of any teams who are going to give him a second chance? Would you be ok with the Cowboys bringing him in or is he not good enough of a player on the field to deserve a second chance from your favorite team?
I know a lot of people who would rather give that second chance to Adrian Peterson sooner than Rice. I wonder why.
Hardy gives the Cowboys what they what, and need, on the field. But it’s the example it sets that leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths.
What’s done is done. No matter the backlash the Dallas Cowboys receive from fans, media, and mayors alike they aren’t going to negate the deal and send Hardy packing to look for another team. They made the move for their own well-being and they made the move to better the team on the field.
What happens from here is something they, and Hardy himself, will have to live with.
In closing, and these words come from a good friend of mine as we talked about the Hardy situation this morning, I thought these words would say it perfectly.
“How do [guys like Hardy] continue to get filthy rich and yet Pete Rose is still banned.”