In his first comments since returning from a four-game suspension, Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy showed little remorse, making curious remarks about Tom Brady‘s wife earlier this week. High-ranking NFL officials, many of whom have spent the last few years changing the way the league handles domestic violence and sexual assaults, were less than pleased.
When a rap video Hardy made several months ago — heavy on strippers and guns — surfaced Saturday, it raised eyebrows even more.
“I couldn’t disagree more with Greg Hardy‘s comments, and they do not reflect the values of the league,” Anna Isaacson, the NFL’s first vice president of social responsibility, told NFL.com. “We are working hard to bring attention to the positive role models many other players represent and also to continue our education with all members of the NFL family.”
It is a battle Hardy is not helping the league win, even as he steps on the field for the first time in more than a year Sunday. By contrast, former Ravens running back Ray Rice has gone through counseling and worked to turn his life around, by all accounts. He remains unsigned.
Hardy’s suspension was originally 10 games for a domestic violence incident in 2014. It was later reduced to four games. Hardy was found guilty by a bench trial, then saw his case dismissed when the alleged victim, ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, chose not to cooperate in the criminal investigation.
On Tuesday, Hardy told reporters by his locker that he wanted to come out “guns blazing” before making comments about Brady’s wife.
“Have you seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game,” Hardy said. “I hope her sister comes to the game, all her friends come to the game. One of my favorite games of the year, guys.”
Brady responded by saying, “I don’t really care about his personal feelings.”
The NFL provides domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and education for teams and Hardy was present for the Cowboys‘ this summer. Yet his comments do not reflect the seriousness of it.
“I am disappointed with them,” Isaacson said of Hardy’s comments. “We spend a lot of time at the NFL educating our players on domestic violence and sexual assault. That’s what we control here, we control education. We control training, we control all the league does from a public perspective and public service, working with non-profit organizations. We can control that. So that everyone in the NFL family has the services and resources that they need if they need help.”
Isaacson said the Cowboys have a good support staff, and in fact, executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson is on the NFL’s newly formed conduct committee. She said the Cowboys have formed close ties to Dallas-area advocates and groups against domestic violence and sexual assault.
In the wake of Hardy’s comments, Isaacson said the league will continue to support the clubs and players when they need it.
UPDATE: The NFL Players Association released a statement regarding Hardy’s comments: “We prefer that all the networks and media pay more attention to players who have been
recognized for their good deeds.”
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.