By: Monte Perez
Growing up I was a Knicks and Jets fan. Like an arranged marriage, I did not choose to like these teams, it was forced upon me. I am the youngest of 5 children, my older brothers and dad rooted for the Jets and Knicks so I kind of had to as well. I gave these two organizations everything I had. I watched every game and cried when they lost. But, like being in a one sided relationship, these two teams have not given me the love I gave them back. The Knicks haven’t won a championship since 1973 and the Jets haven’t even appeared in a Super Bowl since 1969. My heart is still with both teams but I would much rather watch competent organizations like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and the Green Bay Packers. When the Jets singed Michael Vick I was disgusted and rooted for them to lose. I don’t expect athletes to be role models, I don’t expect athletes to be choir boys. But when you do physical harm, repeatedly, to another living creature… that is where I draw the line. I used to be a boxing fan, but I haven’t paid for one pay-per-view fight where Floyd Mayweather Jr. is on the card. Mayweather has had several incidents of domestic violence. I will not put money in someone’s pocket who physically hurts a female.
This past off-season, The Dallas Cowboys signed Gregg Hardy. The Cowboys defensive end was convicted, by a judge, of domestic violence. He beat his ex- girlfriend and threw her on a futon that had several guns and automatic weapons. (Picture is from Deadspin).
I am not here to write about Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson or any other NFL Player. This is about what Hardy did to this woman. There are way too many Dallas Cowboys fans who are bringing up other NFL players. This is not about them… that is like a bank robber being convicted and his lawyer brining up a guy who carjacks for a living. Let’s focus only, on what Hardy did to this woman. He committed heinous act and physically tortured her. When Hardy was asked about what he had done he responded by saying… he hopes that Tom Brady brings his wife and his wife’s sister to the game. Against the New York Giants, Hardy got into a heated argument with fellow players and coaches, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “Hardy is one of our leaders and I love his passion.”
Jones may be a winner in life, but he has failed as an owner here. Jones is a successful business man and the Cowboys, year in and year out, make the most money in the NFL. The Cowboys used to be called “America’s Team”. Tom Landry used to roam the sidelines as their coach and looked to be a symbol for hard work, innovation and integrity. This is a thing of the past. Jones has sold his soul (If he had one) by signing Hardy. Jones has also been quoted as saying, “Everyone deserves a second chance at life.”
Hardy should be in jail but he paid his victim off. Hardy has already gotten his second chance because he is not behind bars. He is a free man, he shouldn’t get another chance at football. I am so tired of men who abuse women getting another chance. In sports and in society there should be a no tolerance policy for domestic violence. If you touch a woman in anger you should be put in jail. If you are a repeat offender you should be put in jail for a minimum of 10 years. I would love to see these so called “tough guys” in jail being treated the way they treated their female victims by someone bigger and stronger.
I saw a woman on TV with a Hardy football Jersey on. Is she kidding me? What if the woman who Hardy tortured was her sister, daughter or niece, would she still support him? It is not a reflection of you if your team does stupid things. But to support that team and their actions blindly is a sad state of affairs. If your identity is based on your teams wins and losses you are failing in life. Sports should be about entertainment, not your religion. I am a writer/broadcaster and I have a great passion for sports, but it is not my life. We have become so obsessed with our teams we don’t see things clearly.
Sponsors should remove advertisement and fans should boycott going to Dallas home games until Hardy is removed from the team. This can’t be just about wins because the Cowboys are 2-6. They are not making the playoffs this year. The NFL should implement a rule, if you are convicted of domestic violence or assault (not self-defense)… All players should be suspended for a minimum of 2 years. If you are a repeat offender you are banned for life. There should be no ambiguity here.
The NFL has a campaign and commercial that says, “No More.” Their message is… we can end domestic violence and sexual assault. The owners are all behind this campaign so why isn’t Jerry Jones?
When a man is in love with a woman his job is to make her feel safe, desired and loved. He shouldn’t make her feel afraid for her life. Woman deserve better than to see Hardy on the sidelines. . Dallas can’t lose enough games as far as I am concerned. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said, “As an organization we don’t condone domestic violence.” Unless, of course, you can sack a quarterback.
Hitting a woman in anger should never ever be tolerated and those who do… athletes or not… should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. All Hardy lost here was money, and the Cowboys are looking to sign him to a long term deal. Like the commercial says, “NO MORE”
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