Enough is Enough
NFL Continues to Drop the Ball on Domestic Violence

News release

Friday afternoon, chilling and disgusting photos were released of injuries suffered when Greg Hardy, a NFL player with the Dallas Cowboys, brutally beat his then-girlfriend. 

And what’s more disturbing, he is still playing and ESPN reports that both Hardy and the Cowboys have declined to comment on the photos.

WEAVE will not link to the photos. It should not require photographic evidence for us to believe a victim. When such clear evidence is documented by law enforcement, prosecution should move forward. Dropping the case and pointing the finger at the victim is not an acceptable response. 

One of the worse parts of the recent news about this domestic violence case is the extreme lack of accountability.  Hardy was convicted in bench trial, but when he appealed for a jury trial, the case was dropped when his victim stopped cooperating with the prosecution, after a financial settlement.  His lawyer then had the case expunged from his record.  He didn’t play in 2014 and the NFL suspended him for an additional 10 games, which was then reduced to 4 games on appeal.  How does this send the message that the NFL and the legal system take domestic violence seriously?

And once again, a victim of domestic violence has been blamed and framed as the aggressor — even when the assailant is Hardy, a 27-year-old, 6’5” 280-pound defensive end.  Now with the detailed photos, the injuries are clearly shown.

The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, calls Hardy a “real leader,” knowing that he had this history of domestic violence.  “We have given Greg a second chance,” said Jones.  How much does it take to send the message that strangling and threatening your girlfriend’s life isn’t okay? It isn’t leadership. It’s criminal behavior that should have been stopped.

The photos show Hardy’s victim thrown on a bed with assault weapons, with bruises on her neck from him strangling her. Did you know that having weapons in the home and strangulation are each on their own the highest indicator of death due to a domestic violence.  Does someone need to die for the NFL to take domestic violence seriously?

At WEAVE, the largest system of shelters for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County, we see women, children and men every day who need much more from us than the weak gestures and empty words offered from the NFL.

These victims need real action.  They need support and services.  And most importantly, they need our society to take domestic violence out of the shadows.

I’m counting on you to be among the strong and committed few who refuse to look away and who are willing to stand up and say enough is enough.

I’m asking you to join us in creating a vital safety net for our community, to show that here in the Sacramento region, we do not tolerate domestic violence.

So you’re asking, what can I do?

You can …

  • Be a resource. Know the signs of someone dealing with domestic violence.  Click here to learn more. 
  • Don’t let anyone blame a victim of domestic violence.  Stand up for those who suffer.
  • Make a gift today to WEAVE, to help those who need support and to build programs focused on prevention.

We might not be able to change the NFL, but together, we can make a difference in our community.  You can have an impact.

Take an action today.

Beth Hassett

Executive Director