On Tuesday, Greg Hardy gave an exclusive interview to ESPN’s Adam Schefter that surely did not have the intended affect.
The interview showed Hardy seemingly trying to redeem himself to attentive NFL teams. Instead, he came across as unapologetic and dismissive of his domestic violence case with ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder in which he was accused of assaulting her, at one point allegedly throwing her onto a sofa full of assault rifles.
Hardy was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list (meaning he was still paid his salary) for 15 games of the 2014 season, and then suspended four games in the 2015 season after signing with the Dallas Cowboys.
During the interview, Schefter addressed Hardy’s comments before making his debut with the Cowboys against the New England Patriots. During a session with reporters, Hardy said he was ready to come out “guns blazing” and said he hoped Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, and her sisters and friends would be in attendance.
When asked about the comment and the lack of awareness that came with it, Hardy told Schefter he was trying to be an “entertainer.”
“In my head, at the time, I’m an entertainer,” Hardy said. “I don’t do interviews, and they want me to do interviews, so I do the interviews and I try to be entertaining, and I just don’t remember my situation while I’m being an entertainer.”
Hardy then seemingly tried to explain that he was acting through a persona, “The Kraken” which is his nickname. The answer became garbled.
“And that’s a line that, as The Kraken, five years, you — it’s definitely, and it’s ingrained and it’s you know where the line is officially. And two years out, coming back, I just couldn’t see that line. And being a Cowboy, thinking about cowboys, guns blazing, I’m just trying to entertain, man, trying to make the fans laugh and smile.
“I got caught up in a situation, and Tom Brady’s wife had nothing to do with the situation. She’s pretty, she’s Gisele, she’s famous. Hope she comes, ‘hope everybody comes’ is what I said at the end, just to watch me play. It’s a result of me putting myself in bad situation.”
When Schefter said Hardy putting himself in a bad situation seemed to be a recurring event, Hardy said it was a long year and the pressure of playing on the Cowboys affected him.
The entire interview did not reflect kindly on Hardy, and it did not paint the redemptive picture ESPN may have been imagining.