Word came out on Friday that The Shield™ reduced the suspension of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy from 10 games to just four following a ruling by arbitrator Harold Henderson.
Soon after the announcement folks throughout social media reached a logical realization. Hardy and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady both have a four-game suspension to their credit:
Jimmy Traina of FOX Sports:
Kerry Byrne of Cold Hard Football Facts:
Bill Barnwell of Grantland:
The absurdity of Brady and Hardy each having four-game suspensions is clearly evident.
Hardy’s suspension stems from an assault case involving former girlfriend Nicole Holder. In the aforementioned incident, Hardy allegedly assaulted Holder and threw her on a couch with guns in May 2014. Ultimately, the case was thrown out of court after a settlement was reached with Holder.
In light of Friday’s reduction in Hardy’s suspension, the league is faced with another PR nightmare on its hands.
As of July 10, 2015, Hardy’s reduced suspension means:
Underflated footballs is on equal footing with domestic violence. After the Ray Rice debacle, the league continues to struggle to find appropriate means of punishment for any notorious and illegal conduct by its players.
Tom Brady being “generally aware” of deflated footballs and in turn, being uncooperative during an investigation is a shot across the “integrity of the game” concept, according to the league.
Well, what exactly is Hardy’s situation?
Unless NFL commissioner Roger Goodell significantly reduces or eradicates Brady’s suspension entirely, the NFL is going to get dragged through the mud once again.
The league’s stance on domestic violence, which is historically dubious, for the moment appears to be on equal ground with two dudes allegedly letting air of a footballs on orders from a player.
Friday’s events seem to suggest is some manner that Brady’s suspension is going to get significantly reduced. If not, the NFL will have to explain to its fans (including its large contingent of female fans) that domestic violence holds equal meaning to them as some guy nicknamed “The Deflator.”
Your move again, Roger.