Last Sunday, in just his second game after returning from a 4-game suspension from violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy again presented another reason why he has become one of the most despised athletes in 2015.
Against the New York Giants on October 25, video surfaced on the sideline where Hardy was involved in an apparent altercation with teammate Dez Bryant on the sideline.
At first glance it looked to be simply a dispute between two passionate athletes. However, a video has surfaced showing Hardy shoving Cowboys Special Teams coach Rich Bisacca after former Cowboy Dwayne Harris returned a game winning 100-yard kick return for a touchdown for the Giants. The return capped a New York 27-20 win over the Cowboys.
After the game Hardy was asked in post-game interviews about the incident on the sideline. With a tone of unapologetically apathy, Hardy repeatedly stated, “No comment…next question.”
After the controversial move to sign Hardy, owner and general manager Jerry Jones stated that Hardy would become a locker room leader for Dallas. Yet, after last weekend’s embarrassment, the statement can be made that Greg Hardy is not a leader for the Cowboys.
Last Sunday’s accident was not the first time Hardy has been in trouble with the media or off the field. And unfortunately, this is not the first time where Hardy was simply callous about his behavior.
Infamously, on May 13, 2014 Hardy was arrested for communicating threats and assault after being accused of assaulting his now ex-girlfriend by grabbing her, throwing her onto a bed full of guns, struggling her, and threatening to kill her in a hotel room in Charlotte.
In July, a judge found him guilty of assault on a female and communicating threats. Hardy was sentenced to 18 months probation and suspending a 60-day jail sentence. Hardy appealed the decision and requested a jury trial, but the victim failed to appear in court to testify resulting in all the charges being dropped.
In April of 2015 NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy ten games after the league’s two-month long investigation into the matter and found that there was sufficient credible evidence violating the league’s Personal conduct policy.
Hardy was rightfully released by Jerry Richardson of Carolina to become a free agent and was later signed by the Dallas Cowboys. The contract was a one-year $11.3 million-dollar deal with a lot different stipulations in the contract regarding Hardy’s past issues off the field.
On July 10, 2015 Hardy’s ten game suspension was reduced to four games by an NFL arbiter. Hardy has played in six quarters and has already recorded three sacks with the Cowboys.
Hardy brings a lot of intensity to the game and is very passionate toward his teammates, reasons why Jerry Jones called him a leader on the team. Attitude does react leadership but as a professional athlete, it is your job to talk to the media after a game regardless if your team won or loss. Hardy’s actions were selfish and very arrogant. He showed no respect not only for the reporters, but most importantly his coaches and teammates. Off the field with his on-field behavior, Hardy has really the type of person he really is off the field.
And as an inspiration to millions of kids who only care about football, Hardy must do better. He easily could had been punished by the team with a suspension or fine by the NFL.
He could have handled the situation better by just telling the reporters it is not a good time right now can you please interview someone else or say it’s just not a good day thank you. Or probably the best answer, to apologize and mean it.
As far as the situation with the special teams coach, the timing of the confrontation was just bad. Hardy cannot control where the cameras shoot, but if he had just confronted the special teams on the bench by just talking angrily at him, that would had been fine. Players get heated in games, ask Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. However, what good leaders do is help the team get better at things by being proactive.
Bad leaders put their hands on coaches or act in an unprofessional way on camera, embarrassing the organization and presenting himself as an individual who is indifferent for his bad behavior to millions of kids.