Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called into Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning, and he talked about most of the things you’d expect him to — the NFC East race and the Philadelphia Eagles winning on “Monday Night Football.”
But the hosts also asked him whether he was keeping an eye on how the NFL was handling the Kareem Hunt situation. Hunt was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list after a video surfaced that showed him kicking a woman during an altercation at a hotel. The Kansas City Chiefs released him shortly after.
Jones said that he was keeping tabs on how the NFL is handling things. And then Jones proceeded to forget that he ever willingly employed Greg Hardy.
105.3 The Fan host: Are you guys keeping an eye on how the NFL has been dealing with the Kareem Hunt saga, especially considering that they didn’t even interview him?
Jerry Jones: Yes, we’re keeping a very close eye, and have a keen interest in how that’s playing out. But we’re no different than the other 31 teams in this respect … but we’re very interested. It’s a challenging area of what we’re about. Everyone has no tolerance for domestic abuse. Zero tolerance for domestic abuse. Consequently we have to deal with the fact that we’re so physical and it’s such an important story.
It might feel like a long time ago, but Hardy was in the NFL just three years ago. Hardy was arrested in May 2014 for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and was found guilty by a judge and sentenced to probation and a 60-day suspended jail sentence. Hardy appealed the decision, and when his ex-girlfriend failed to appear in court to testify in front of a jury, the charges were dropped.
That was all in 2014. Hardy played just one game for the Carolina Panthers before being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, where he stayed for the rest of the season. The Panthers didn’t re-sign him for the 2015 season, but then Jones and the Cowboys swooped in and signed Hardy to a one-year contract worth over $11 million dollars. After serving a reduced suspension of four games, Hardy played in 12 games for the Cowboys.
Hardy wasn’t brought back for another season, but the Cowboys signed him and played him, even after Deadspin released police photos of his ex-girlfriend’s injures. That’s a lot of things, but it’s definitely not “no tolerance for domestic abuse.”
Jones wasn’t done talking about NFL players and violence on women.
“The truth is, to get to be a part of the NFL and a part of the perception of the NFL, you have to give up some of the rights you’d have to have if maybe you weren’t a part of the NFL,” Jones said. “In other words, you’re held to a higher standard because of the visibility.”
It’s unclear what rights Jones thinks players are giving up by being in the NFL. People who don’t play football are subject to the same laws — if a schoolteacher did what Hardy did, he would also be arrested, and his job would have also been in serious jeopardy.
It’s also hard to see how Hardy was held to a higher standard when Jones and the Cowboys signed him, played him and paid him. Reuben Foster, who has been arrested twice in 2018 for domestic violence and assault, was cut by the San Francisco 49ers only to be claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins just a couple of days later. It’s hard to see the higher standard there, either.
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