Greg Hardy suspension reduced
The NFL does not seem to know how to hand down a fair and justifiable suspension, dating back to last season. Along those lines, an arbitrator has ruled to lower ex-Carolina Panther defensive end, Greg Hardy’s NFL suspension from ten games down to four. Hardy, now with the Dallas Cowboys, was charged with misdemeanor assault and convicted, but the charges were later dropped. He was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list after playing in one game for the Panthers last season.
The appeal was heard seven weeks ago, and arbitrator Harold Henderson today passed down the decision to lower the suspension to four games.
“After consideration of all the record evidence and arguments, I conclude that the Commissioner acted within his authority and properly exercised his discretion in finding that Hardy violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy,” Henderson said in a statement.
“I find that the conduct of Hardy clearly violates the letter and spirit of any version of the PCP since its inception, and of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws long before then. The egregious conduct exhibited here is indefensible in the NFL. However, 10 games is simply too much, in my view, of an increase over prior cases without notice such as was done last year, when the ‘baseline’ for discipline in domestic violence or sexual assault cases was announced as a six-game suspension. Therefore, the discipline of Mr. Hardy hereby is modified to a suspension of four games; all other terms of the discipline letter remain in place,” via USA TODAY.
Yes, there was fault, and Roger Goodell had every right to hand down a suspension, but it was ruled as excessive in nature. This might further set a precedent for rulings in the future, and would undoubtedly help players fight a stern suspension from the commissioner going forward.
Domestic violence and assault has no place in the NFL, or society for that matter, but discipline needs to be methodical when handed down to players. It also needs to occur on a consistent basis, of which Commissioner Goodell has been all over the map in recent memory. Justice will be served, but the NFL tends to make it a swift occurrence, prior to those made in the court of law, and opinion lies on both sides of that line.
Do you think it is fair for the NFL to hand down suspensions prior to rulings in the court of law? Was the Greg Hardy suspension rightfully reduced? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Dustin Brown covers the NFL for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.