In May 2014, Greg Hardy, now the defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, was arrested and charged with assaulting and threatening his former girlfriend Nicole Holder. Although public outrage surfaced at the time regarding those domestic violence allegations, the stuff didn’t really hit the fan until a gallery of images were released on November 6, courtesy of Deadspin, depicting Holder’s bruised and battered body.
Hardy was playing for the Carolina Panthers in 2014 when he was arrested for beating, strangling, tossing his former girlfriend around the room and into some walls and furniture and also threatening to kill her. In July 2015, a judge found him guilty of domestic violence related charges and gave him a suspended jail sentence and 18 months’ probation. When Hardy appealed that sentence, Holder stopped cooperating with authorities and wouldn’t in appear in court to testify against her convicted abuser. All charges had to be dropped against the NFL defensive end, according to a November 7 report from ESPN.
The day after Deadspin released their photos of Holder’s bruised body, Hardy took to social media in an effort to provide his spin on the bad publicity. On November 7, Hardy tweeted “Just had to say I express my regret 4 what happened in past and I’m Dedicated to being the best person & teammate that I can be,” followed by another tweet, “but mostly I am Grateful 4 the opportunity to play in NFL #GodBlessHookyStreet.” Fan reactions on Twitter regarding Hardy’s tweets range from praising him for admitting to prior mistakes to saying that he should be in jail right now.
The images on Deadspin were taken by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police after Hardy’s former girlfriend lodged her original complaint against Hardy. CNN shared the reaction from Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones after the images of Holder were made public. Jones said the Cowboys are aware of Hardy’s situation, take the situation seriously and do not condone domestic violence.
“We entered into the agreement with Greg fully understanding that there would be scrutiny and criticism. We have given Greg a second chance. He is a member of our team and someone who is grateful for the opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career.” ~ Jerry Jones via CNN
In March 2015, the Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year $11.3 million contract. The defensive end was suspended for four games following the domestic violence headlines with his ex-girlfriend. For more on the Greg Hardy assault photos that have emerged, see the video accompanying this article.