Target: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell
Goal: Ban football player who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend from ever playing with the NFL again.
Despite substantial evidence and incriminating testimony stemming from a case in which an ex-girlfriend accused him of assault, football player Greg Hardy is currently continuing his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. When details of the case first emerged, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a minor suspension, but recent reporting by sports blog Deadspin has revealed incriminating evidence that portrays Hardy as both reckless and violent. It is clear that the initial suspension was insufficient and Goodell needs to ban Hardy from playing in the NFL forever.
In the summer of 2014, Hardy, then playing with the Carolina Panthers, was arrested and charged with assault and communicating threats in connection with an incident in which he allegedly assaulted an ex-girlfriend. Hardy was initially found guilty, but appealed the decision. The prosecutor’s office then dropped the charges, claiming that the victim could not be found and suggesting that a settlement had been reached. Hardy was immediately placed on the National Football League’s exempt list, meaning he was not allowed to participate in team activities but still received his salary, and in April 2015, Hardy received a 10-game suspension, which was then reduced to four by an arbitrator. One month later, Hardy signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys, the team for which he currently plays, worth $11 million.
Recently, Diana Mosgovitz of sports blog Deadspin released a report on Hardy’s case which contained disturbing evidence of Hardy’s wrongdoing, including pictures of his victim’s injuries and testimony describing Hardy’s violent acts and threats. In light of recent scandals involving current and former players such as Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, the NFL has admitted that domestic abuse is a serious problem within the league. With Hardy, the league had a chance to hand out a lengthy suspension or lifetime ban and make a statement. Rather than come down harshly on Hardy and set an example for future violators, however, Commissioner Roger Goodell wavered and failed to appropriately punish Hardy.
The one plausible excuse for the league’s tame repercussions was a lack of evidence, but the photographs and stories in the Deadspin report make for a strong suggestion of Hardy’s guilt. The National Football League is an institution that prides itself on its integrity, and allowing Greg Hardy to continue playing is an unacceptable mistake for a league that has publicly vowed to crack down on domestic abusers.
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
In light of recent reports, evidence now strongly suggests that Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys is guilty of beating, strangling, and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. Your office has admitted that the NFL has a serious problem when it comes to domestic abuse, and your decision to suspend Hardy shows that you acknowledge that Hardy has violated the league’s conduct policy. However, your decision to suspend Hardy for only 10 games reveals that your promises to address the domestic abuse issues in your league were empty.
Greg Hardy’s conduct is detrimental to the reputation of your league, and allowing this man to continue playing suggests that you endorse his actions. Removing Hardy from your league would reinforce the notion that your office is dedicated to ending the domestic abuse issue that is currently plaguing the league and serve as a warning to future perpetrators. I urge you to issue a lifetime ban to this violent and dangerous man.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum