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Domestic Violence: NSFW (Not Suitable for Work) UNLESS You Work in the NFL

Posted 06 Nov 2015 by


NFL Arrest Statistics Handcuff Logo

Deadspin obtained photos, along with hundreds of pages of records from the criminal case against NFL player Greg Hardy, which depict injuries to his girlfriend Nicole Holder. They are added at the bottom of this blog.

According to Deadspin:

Barefoot and frightened, Nicole Holder walked as fast as she could through the darkness, and the moment she saw the cops she ran. She headed west on Fifth Street toward North Church, away from the Charlotte., N.C., apartment of Greg Hardy, a star defensive end then with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Minutes earlier he had, she said, thrown her against a tile bathtub wall, tossed her on a futon covered in assault rifles, and choked her until she told him to “kill me so I don’t have to.”

What happened in the case according to the Charlotte Observer:

Hardy had initially been charged with communicating threats and assault on a female in 2014 after an alleged incident inside his uptown Charlotte condo with former girlfriend Nicole Holder.

He was found guilty in a bench trial in 2014 and immediately appealed, asking for a jury trial.

On the opening day of the trial, a judge threw out the case when Holder, who was Hardy’s accuser, stopped cooperating with prosecutors.

Hardy’s attorney, Chris Fialko, confirmed that a Mecklenburg County district judge signed the expungement order this week and that Hardy’s charges have been expunged.

Greg Hardy Dallas CowboysThat’s right, he’s still employed. He’s still making millions of dollars. The NFL is in the business of selling hard hits and stunning blindsides. So, should they care? Should they stand up against domestic abuse? Or do they have no responsibility for what happens off the field?

We wrote this blog on our companion Courts & Sports site in 2014, Courts and Sports – How Ray Rice Shows that Athletics and Justice Don’t Mix and Why He Has Grounds for Appeal. We could add page after page of NFL players who have been charged with various forms of domestic abuse. It’s terrible and intolerable.

NFL’s Late Response

It took until 2014 for the NFL to create specific training, which it did in response to wild criticism and sponsor rebuke after it so poorly handled the Ray Rice incident. Domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault are now under the direction of Anna Isaacson, whose official title is VP of Social Responsibility.

Much criticism has followed about the nature of sincerity and hypocrisy which follows its domestic violence polices.

Here is the current system:

NFL Conduct Policy

NFLPA’s Conflict

The NFL Players Association is the Union which represents the players. It has expressed public concern that the league’s proposed domestic violence training program does not go far enough in addressing, identifying and preventing domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. However, they are even more conflicted as they are tasked with representing the Players. Not the spouses or girlfriends.

Conclusion

More must be done. Will it take lawsuits against the NFL? That seemed to work with claims of CTE and brain injury. Will it take a high profile murder by a NFL athlete related to domestic abuse? Well that wouldn’t be the first. The NFL must do more to prevent the aggression encouraged on the field from causing this off of it:

 

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