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Monson: Greg Hardy playing for Salt Lake's Screaming Eagles would be an abuse of good judgment

Published March 29, 2017 2:35 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles are considering signing former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy. And, as is its way, the club is allowing its fans to vote on the matter. To which any clear-minded human would ask the Screaming Eagles:

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Hardy is the former Carolina Panther and Dallas Cowboy who was involved in a horrific domestic violence case in which he allegedly choked and beat his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Deadspin published a story about the now famous case in which it pieced together interview transcripts and police reports, as well as photos of a bruised and battered Holder, to illustrate what actually happened.

Hardy was convicted of assault in a bench trial, but the charges later were dropped. As was reported in the story, Holder went quiet after she received a settlement, prosecutors said. But the transcripts and photos remained, including pictures of Holder with bruises over large portions of her body. Subsequently, Hardy's version of what occurred painted him as the victim.

Holder told police the following: "I tried to get up, he pushed me, then I started fighting back, he threw me into the bathroom, I hit the back of the shower wall and fell into the bathtub where he pulled me out."

Hardy, she said, removed her from the bathtub by pulling her hair, and from there, Hardy threw her onto a futon that had guns stacked on it then rolled onto the floor. She said he lifted up her and strangled her with both hands. She told police she thought she was going to die.

"He looked insane," she said. When asked what she was thinking, she said, "He was going to kill me, this is it … this is the time. He's actually gonna do it."

The photos are beyond disturbing.

Hardy missed playing time, but, thereafter, continued his career in the NFL, signing with Dallas before the Cowboys ultimately decided against keeping him, a move that centered as much on his odd behavior and the headaches he caused his teammates and coaches as it did on anything that happened previously.

Since then, no other NFL team has signed Hardy.

Nor should they.

And neither should the Screaming Eagles, or, as it plays out here, should you.

In its release, the club said:

"We have spent the past week speaking with Greg directly and with many of his former teammates and coaches. After hours of deliberation and debate, Screaming Eagles ownership, management and coaches are in unanimous agreement that we will support Greg joining the team under one condition — that our fans vote to allow him."

No question that the 28-year-old defensive end would be the team's best player. Ability-wise he could be in the NFL. Character-wise, he should be in prison.

Everyone likes to believe in second chances. Everyone wants to believe people can change. But everyone also should take a stand against domestic violence and those hurt by it and not excuse it or ignore it or allow it to be pushed aside or paid off.

Greg Hardy still might be a helluva football player. He might help the Screaming Eagles gain publicity and win games. And as we all know, winning games at any level in any league is important. But it's not that important. If I'm voting on this management move, the decision is an easy one. Hopefully, it's an easy one for every soul looking to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.






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