I doubt that there are many Dallas Cowboys fans out there who would have an issue with Greg Hardy joining the team if it were not for his off the field issues. My front page colleague Michael Sisemore wrote in his recent look at the player known as The Kraken that Hardy is a polarizing enigma for football fans around the league. On the one hand, Greg is arguably the best free agent pass rusher on the market while on the other he has been accused of committing reprehensible acts of violence toward his female partner.As much as we would like to separate one from the other, it is impossible for us to have the aggressive, hard-nosed edge rusher without also acquiring the man accused of abusing the woman in his life.
I have taken a stern stance in the past regarding athletes who have committed assaults on women. Last year I penned an article about former University of Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan and why the Cowboys should take a pass. Lewan was accused of rape by a female student-athlete. I have also spoke out in both posts and comments about other players, including Ray Rice, who have assaulted women in one way or another. It would be natural for me to take virtual pen in hand and urge Dallas to forego the services of Mr. Hardy.
I am not going to do so. I find myself having mixed feelings on the issue, and I have also come to realize that it is hypocritical for me to oppose the signing of Greg Hardy at the same time that I support the induction of Harvey Martin into the Ring of Honor. While Martin may have been one of the best pass rushing defensive ends to ever don a Cowboys uniform, he too had a history of domestic violence. It may well be that Martin will never be fully honored for his play due to the fact that he plead guilty to spousal abuse charges and served time on probation for his crime. It would be two-faced for me to come out fully in support of Mr. Martin while at the same time opposing Mr. Hardy's signing for possibly committing the same offense.
I find myself conflicted. As a fan who wants nothing more than to see my team triumph, I want to see the best available talent on the roster. Greg Hardy fits that bill. As a woman, I want to see a day when attacks on women have take on the level of seriousness that the deserve. There must be consequences for actions such as the ones that Hardy has been accused of. I cannot have it both ways. I have repeatedly given Martin a pass while not extending the same to Lewan, Rice, and Hardy. It is impossible for me to play on both sides of the street at the same time. I have mixed thoughts on Hardy, and thus I choose to trust the judgement of the front office. I believe that they will consider all aspects of the situation and act in the best interests of the team.
You cannot have your cake and eat it too.