With all the hubbub this week having to do with the almost buffonish handling of the Ray Rice case by the NFL, another player with domestic violence issues seems to be skating by unnoticed.
Greg Hardy, star defensive end for the Carolina Panthers is slated to be in the starting lineup yet again this week vs. San Francisco.
That wouldn't be a big deal except Hardy was CONVICTED this summer for assaulting his girlfriend. The story was reported by us and many other outlets back in July, but since then no discernible disciplinary action has ever been taken by the Panthers....or the NFL.
Yes, Panther fans, we know Hardy is "appealing" the ruling, but that is not likely to work. And there is NO reason Hardy should not have been disciplined.
Hardy's issues began when he beat up his girlfriend back in May. Reports at the time (and later confirmed) say he hit the woman and threw her into a bathtub. He then continued assaulting her, eventually throwing her on a couch covered in assault rifles. She at that time began begging for her life before police arrived.
Read an early description of the event RIGHT HERE
Yet in spite of all this, the Panthers haven't done anything to Hardy. He played in the season opener and was featured because he painted his face before running out on the field. He is preparing to play in game 2 and in light of the events this week, all the Panthers can say is they are waiting for the legal process to play out.
What? He's already been convicted.
Here is the spin from Carolina, where more has been made of owner Jerry Richardson's tearful statement that he's built an "Organization of Integrity". Yet it doesn't answer any of the questions.
Here is the spin in Charlotte on this issue from WSOC-TV:
Sorry guys, this doesn't justify anything--
How Hardy plays in light of what happened with Rice is mystifying. And yet nobody is paying any attention to it. Rice grabs the headlines because of the video and yet this case is equally messed up. If the NFL wants to be taken seriously (which we wonder about), Hardy needs to be sat down.
ESPN's Steve Delsohn takes a much deeper and more even look at what actually happened. Watch it and then you'll understand why the message here is so mixed: