Greg Hardy’s words can render anyone speechless, which is ironic because it’s the Pro Bowl defensive end who should probably keep his mouth shut.
Hardy, who played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, sat down Monday for an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Several topics were discussed, including Hardy’s free agency, but a bold and weird denial regarding the 27-year-old’s 2014 domestic violence case was really perplexing.
“I’ve never put my hand on any women … in my whole entire life, no sir,” Hardy said, according to a partial transcript released by ESPN. “That’s just not how we’re raised. As you can tell, like I said again, it’s the Bible belt. It’s just something that’s, I wouldn’t even say frowned upon, just something that’s nonexistent in most southern homes.”
Hardy was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2014 while still with the Carolina Panthers. The related charges since have been expunged from his record, but Hardy was suspended four games by the NFL (reduced from 10 games) following a lengthy investigation, and Deadspin published photos in November 2015 that showed the accuser, Nicole Holder, looking bruised and battered.
“You say you did nothing wrong, you’re innocent and yet the pictures of her that surfaced would seem to suggest a woman who had some type of physical contact,” Shefter asked Hardy on Monday, according to the transcript. “How do you explain that?”
Schefter’s question sparked an unusual response that’s difficult to make sense of.
“I will stop you there and say that I didn’t say that I didn’t do anything wrong,” Hardy said. “That situation occurred and that situation was handled but … saying that I did nothing wrong is a stretch but saying I am innocent is correct. Yes, sir.”
Schefter followed by asking if Hardy ever put his hands on Holder.
“No, sir,” Hardy replied. “… No, sir.”
Hardy’s lone season with the Cowboys was underwhelming on and off the field. It wouldn’t be surprising if teams across the league refrain from signing him this offseason, as there’s just so much baggage that comes with the mercurial D-lineman.
Thumbnail photo via Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Greg Hardy