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The Signing Of Greg Hardy, Let's Discuss

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So maybe you heard that the Dallas Cowboys signed Greg Hardy.

I start this post a little light-heartedly, but we're here to discuss a serious subject. The Greg Hardy signing and the effect it has had on this community. We'll also discuss expectations about dealing with this matter going forward.

This signing obviously comes with big issues - domestic violence, the law, and the treatment of people with checkered pasts. Everybody seems to have an opinion. There are many camps to which you can belong. Some say no way, Hardy was convicted of domestic violence, end of story, period. Others say he was sort of convicted, but that decision was vacated (edit: removed the word "exonerated" for the more precise "decision vacated"). Still others might not have thought he was guilty at all. Past that, you have people who hold their position so earnestly that there is no room for discussion. While others are open to general debate. Some have a pretty open view of second chances, others are more law and order. I guess you see the point. Plenty of reasonably sane people are going to have sharp disagreements over the signing of Greg Hardy.

For the record, here's my general opinion, summed up in one paragraph. I believe Greg Hardy did something wrong, but because I wasn't there, and the actual record of what happened has conflicting information, I have no true idea of exactly how wrong of a thing he did. And because Hardy eventually had the first verdict vacated and charges dropped (edit: more precise wording than exonerated), I have to be open to giving him a chance to resume his career. Do I like it? Well, it certainly doesn't fill me with joy. Personally, while I'm sure I'll appreciate what Hardy brings to the field, I'll never be able to celebrate him like some other Cowboys players. But I'm not going to condemn the man, or condemn the Cowboys, because of the reasons I laid out above. When I have this much uncertainty about an incident, even though I think something wrong happened, I can't have certainty about condemnation.

But that's just me, that's my past experience, my personality, my brain, my world-view. How you feel about it is likely going to be different. The fact that many people, and many people on this blog, will have differing views and feelings, is a given. By the way, before forming an opinion, I would always advise that you read up on the subject thoroughly, not just the headline and summary of events. My feelings were somewhat changed after reading all the facts.

Where does this leave us? If nothing else, maybe it will remind all of us to stop for a second, and realize that people do have different views on this. That doesn't make them the worst person in the world, it doesn't make them a monster, it doesn't make them your mortal enemy, it doesn't make them any better or worse than you. It just makes them - them. And you - you.

That was a very long-winded way of asking for the community to help out, and get past the sharp arguments, disagreements and trolling that has been going on since the signing happened. The comments have sometimes veered into vitriol, grandstanding, judgement, name-calling and plain ol' bad behavior. I'm calling on your "better angels" in this matter. If you feel you must continue to discuss the domestic violence issue on its own or in relation to Greg Hardy, that is okay. The Cowboys have invited this discussion by signing Hardy, so it is reasonable to participate. But, if you are going to participate, you'll need to follow the blog guidelines. And in this particular case, I'd advise you to err on the side of following the guidelines, and just remind yourself to be careful here. We will be scrutinizing this a little more than usual. If you get a comment deleted, don't immediately get angry, see if you can just let it go this one time, we are trying our best to keep things pleasant and civil around here.

This blog aspires to pretty strict standards for discourse. Some will say too strict, some will say it's too self-righteous, or even hypocritical at times. I'm probably guilty as charged on all of those at one time or another. But, I still keep trying for those standards. In order to do that, the moderators and I have to make judgment calls on comments. Are we overzealous at times? Yeah, guilty again. But it is all in a good cause, I assure you. We are not doing it just to do it, we are not holding personal vendettas, we're just trying to do the job. We can make mistakes. So, as I've said many times, the mods are doing what I'm asking, so if you have an issue with a mod, don't take it to the comments, bring it to me. My email is always available.

This bring us to the end of my blabber and preaching on the subject. Hopefully, it has done some good. Now, on to the draft.