Domestic violence in the NFL

Sam Valentin
Sports Editor

The NFL has been under plenty of scrutiny this offseason for the handling of deflategate
and handing out punishment for violence that has undercut the league in the past few
years.

The biggest cases that comes to mind are Ray Rice and Greg Hardy incidents. Hardy
returned from his four game, slap on the wrist suspension from the NFL this week to
face the Patriots while Ray Rice was watching from his couch at home.

Rice’s case was a very high profile and public case stemming from a video of him
knocking out his fiancé Janay Palmer in an elevator in which he then drug her off
camera. He still married Palmer during the trial process. His contract terminated from
the Ravens and he has not played a down since. That is not the same story for Hardy.

Hardy was accused of assaulting his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder on the night of May
13, 2014.”…[Hardy] flung her from a bed, threw her into a bathtub, then tossed her onto
a futon covered with rifles.She said Hardy dragged her by the hair room to room, then
put his hands around her throat. “He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was
going to kill me,” Holder said,” according to ESPN.

During the whole court process Hardy was placed on the exempt list meaning he could
not play but still received his $13.1 million salary from the Panthers. Hardy got an initial
ten game suspension stemming from his domestic violence incident reduced to four
games after he signed a one year deal with Dallas.

Now Sunday afternoon Hardy was back on the turf terrorizing offenses. The real story is
how he shows no sign of contrition. In interviews leading up to this week he made
remarks about how he hopes Tom Brady’s wife, Giselle Bundechen attends the game
with friends. He also added a comment about coming out “guns blazin.”

Did he learn anything from his suspension or is he just that dumb? He is making jokes
about the things that got him into trouble last year. The subject of the matter is frankly
domestic violence is not a joking matter at all. Hardy has not seemed to learn anything
during his suspension. Sure he lost a max of two million dollars by missing four game
without pay. Big deal to a guy who has made millions throughout his career. The guy
has all the talent in the world to be a phenomenal defensive end and has been given his
second chance but so far what has he done with it? Truly made a mockery of the
league.

I am all about giving players a second chance who have done their time and show
remorse. Hardy has done neither. In example Michael Vick served his time in jail and
missed out on millions. He did his time and showed remorse. I believe he deserved a
second chance in the league. Same with Adrian Peterson who missed 15 games in
2014 due to him pleading no contest to a misdemeanor assault case for allegedly hitting
his four-year-old son with a switch.

Rice made a mistake but he did his time. He deserves a second chance in the NFL. I
know many teams could benefit from his services. He  went to classes. He showed
remorse for his actions, as did his wife. Yet he is the one who in unemployed while
Hardy rakes in millions this year. I am not downplaying Rice’s incident. It just seems
unfair to me personally.

All these players should be treated equal. The NFL needs bring justice to these
situations. They need to send the message that domestic violence or really violence in
general is not okay at all. They need to send the message loud and clear to put a stop
to this whole culture that athletes and celebrities are above the law when they should
not be. The NFL culture needs change. It needs it now.