Nothing screams hypocrisy more in the NFL than the treatment of Greg Hardy when compared to Ray Rice. Both were involved in horrific domestic violence incidents, but only one looks to have a bright future in the NFL … and it isn’t the one who apologized and made the necessary steps to speak out against domestic abuse.
Now, there are no excuses for Hardy and Rice’s past behavior. But if Hardy deserves a second chance (or third, or fourth), why doesn’t Rice?
It probably has to do with the fact Hardy is “needed” by his team.
Hardy is one of the most talented defensive ends in all of football, so he gets away with making ill-advised statements, and the Cowboys organization has no problem looking the other way when damning news breaks about their star defensive player. Just two weeks ago, when brutal photos surfaced showing bruises on Hardy’s ex-girlfriend’s body, nothing happened. There was some controversy in the media for about 24 hours, but it ultimately led to nothing.
What’s even worse is the lack of self-awareness on the part of Hardy. You know it’s bad when Ray Rice is calling you out for it.
“One thing I would encourage for Greg is to take a deeper look into what the severity of domestic violence is,” Rice said, via WFAN's ‘Boomer & Carton Show’ on Thursday. “It's better late than never.”
Rice quickly understood the cruelty of domestic violence after being lambasted by the media and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for beating his then fiancé in an Atlantic City elevator. Since then however, Rice has made the effort to learn his lesson, apologize and raise awareness, but he still hasn’t signed with an NFL team.
As for Hardy, he was suspended most of last season and a portion of this season, but that didn’t prevent the Cowboys from signing him. All of that happened prior to the release of Nicole Holder’s photos, which had no ramifications on Hardy, unlike Rice, who was suspended a second time after the elevator footage surfaced.
Rice’s career was already declining when he was suspended, but there’s no doubt he was still capable of being a quality NFL running back. But the league (and the media) more or less banished him (or at least his reputation), while basically saying to Hardy, “Serve your time, but you’ll be back because you’re really good at football.”
It’s the same hypocrisy seen with Floyd Mayweather, who has a long history of domestic abuse. But boxing higher-ups and the media have no trouble looking the other way because he’s never lost a match.
“You have to be sincere in your actions,” Rice added. “Show it on and off the field. Take that uniform and use it for what it’s worth. You don’t have to win another football game, you don’t need another dollar to go out and make a difference in other peoples’ lives.”
That’s some solid advice, which Greg Hardy probably won’t listen to because he still gets to play.