Hours after the publication of a bombshell report revealing more details, including photographs, from the alleged domestic violence incident involving defensive end Greg Hardy, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued a statement supporting the player.
In the statement, Jones declares that Hardy is “a member of our team,” which effectively ended any speculation that the Cowboys would release Hardy after the revelation of the photos.
The statement also starts by saying that the team “did not have access to the photos” that were published by Deadspin earlier in the day. While this has been confirmed, it seems to raise questions about the “thorough background review” Jones said was conducted prior to signing Hardy in March. Some in the NFL office had seen the photos and it would seem a truly “thorough” investigation would have included having those in the NFL at least describe what was seen in the photos.
Here is the statement from Jones (via Ian Rapoport):
“While we did not have access to the photos that became public today, we were and are aware of the serious nature of this incident. We as an organisation take this very seriously. We 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.”
After an initial conviction in the case, the charges were later expunged when the alleged victim stopped cooperating with the prosecution. At the time, the district attorney’s office cited “reliable information” that Hardy and his ex-girlfriend had reached a financial settlement.
Hardy is unlikely to receive any punishment from the NFL. He has already served a suspension for this incident, one that was reduced from ten games to four by an arbitrator.
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