Panthers announce Greg Hardy takes “voluntary leave”

AP

For the second time today, a high-profile NFL player facing legal trouble has been banished from his team.

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy will, like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, go on the commissioner’s exempt list until is legal case has run its course. Hardy is awaiting a jury trial on a domestic violence charge.

“The Panthers have announced that DE Greg Hardy will take a voluntary leave of absence from team,” a brief statement from the team read.

Presumably Hardy agreed to the voluntary leave because the Panthers told him if he didn’t, they’d give him an involuntary leave. Hardy, who will continue to be paid his salary of about $770,000 a week, released a statement saying he accepts the decision.

“I understand that I need to step away from football right now and take care of this legal matter,” Hardy said in a statement. “I am entitled to due process and my day in court, and that’s where my focus should be.”

Although Hardy was convicted by a judge, the Panthers initially said they would allow him to seek a jury trial, as is his right in North Carolina, before taking any action. However, after harsh criticism following their decision to play him in Week One, the Panthers deactivated Hardy for Week Two. Now he’s done for the foreseeable future.

76 responses to “Panthers announce Greg Hardy takes “voluntary leave”

  1. No Brainer……I could be suspended without pay, and you’re going to give me the option of taking paid leave..? No catch? Okay.

    It looks like this is the new way to deal with all incidents where players have unresolved run-ins with the law.

  2. And yet, still, no sign of Goodell anywhere. Where is the inept coward?

    Goodell is busy shredding documents in his office before the investigation.

  3. There you go, are you losers happy now? Innocent until proven guilty, pfff doesn’t exist anymore.

    Sure it does. He was found guilty on July 16.

  4. Hopefully Greg’s voluntary leave is a precursor to a volunteer stint of community service. Like picking trash off the side of the interstate 8 hours a day for the next two years.

  5. This season is getting away from the owners — and the coaches — in a big hurry.

    Regime change in the commissioner’s office seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago, but is looking more and more like the only viable option now.

  6. In the eyes of the law in NC he is innocent. Once you appeal a bench trail you are considered innocent until the outcome of your jury trail.

    The only forum that sees him as guilty is that of the media and those that believe everything the talking heads say without looking into it themselves.

  7. The only forum that sees him as guilty is that of the media and those that believe everything the talking heads say without looking into it themselves.

    And a trial judge…who weighed all the evidence once already.

  8. “And a trial judge…who weighed all the evidence once already.”

    Read past the clickbait headlines…none of that sentence is even close to true.

    Traffic court is more legit.

  9. grizzly224- Actually in the eyes of the NC justice system hes seen as guilty with the ability to appeal and get a jury trial. If nothing had happened that day it would never have gotten to this point.

    Hes fighting for his freedom(forget NFL) this guy is going to jail/Prison. His case is WAYYY WORSE than RAY RICE you just didnt get the unfornuate priviledge of seeing it on video! Just wait until all the transcripts come out. He not only beat her up, he mentally abused, physically abused her, and then threatened her life with a bed full of guns!

    You need to stop letting football get into the way of your morals!

  10. Imagine if Joe six pack could beat/abuse his girlfriend/wife and get paid leave from work…can you imagine the new culture ?

    Hopefully no attorneys are listening here.

  11. grizzly224- OH and thier are phone calls from concerned neighbors claiming they heard what he was doing to her. Their too much evidenve to get washed away bc she was a shady character. IF anything her being a shady character only helps incriminate him more. WTF was he dating what he wants to call a crazy drug addicted female?

    Cannot excuse stupid sometimes bc he can sports. I almost never side with the justice system just because of all the INJUSTICES ive seen, but this dude is screwed!

  12. There you go, are you losers happy now? Innocent until proven guilty, pfff doesn’t exist anymore.

    ————————————————————-

    The court of public opinion is way more tough than the law, especially when it comes to the rich and famous who tend to get off lightly or even completely.

    Plus, this is business – and in business it is about the bottom line and if it is threatened by one individual that could taint the product, guess what happens? That individual is out regardless of the law.

  13. I hope this means we see a lot more football related news that doesn’t have to do with these guys as they rehab their behaviors and fully understand what actions they took and the ramifications. I’m not sure of the history of the others, but as an example Adrian Peterson who has pretty much stayed out of trouble his whole life needs to know what his father(s), mother and family members did back in the day to keep him on the straight and narrow is now considered child abuse no matter how well intended. Breaking the cycle of abuse has to start somewhere.

    By no means am I defending these guys. I just happen to believe in second chances after the legal system does it’s job…

  14. The boys at ESPN are rejoicing while vilifying the Panthers for being so phony. You know ESPN, that bastion of moral certainty? I suppose it is okay to cheat on your wife, but just don’t get accused of domestic violence. Accused is the operative word. In North Carolina a misdemeanor is decided by an elected judge who decides if there is enough evidence to say “guilty”. If so, you are guilty and pay a fine and maybe a suspended sentence for your first offense. If you as a defendant decide that you are innocent and have enough money for a lawyer, you can opt for a trial by jury in superior court. At that point you are not guilty or CONVICTED (that was for Trey and his righteous rage). So you get a new trial and in the eyes of the law you are innocent. You are not appealing a guilty verdict Trey. What about this do you and your pals not understand?

  15. The NFL recommending this action by the teams, so why would Goodell need to speak on this? Action has been taken players who haven’t been convicted by a jury are now not playing, so what more can the league do?

  16. Right about now Ray Rice is banging his head on the table going ” Why couldn’t I be put on an EXEMPT List, Since it sees you get paid until stuff gets sorted out “.
    Its very easy for the likes of Greg Hardy and Peterson to quietly sign off on this EXEMPT list with not much of a fight , since they do get paid.( at least the UNIONS don’t have to come in on these ones)

    Kind of have similar type language like when a COP or some public servants getting put on paid leave.

  17. Get ready 49er fans. The media is coming after your boy next. Coaches have got to be going nuts about this. Every locker room in the league has skeletons in the closet. 53 guys, a lot of them with low education from rough neighborhoods, bad decisions are inevitable.

  18. Here we go these pompous arrogant NFL owners have no accountability and now they come up with a new an exciting name EXEMP RULE to look as if they care. They only listened when sponsors starting talking.

  19. Not specific to Hardy but it is time that the federal government terminated the not-for-profit status of NFL teams. It is an absurd designation. It’s also time that local communities enter into exclusivity agreements with franchises that commit the franchises to do business in that state or pay a substantial breakup fee. The monuments these owners build to themselves while pushing much of the cost onto the community through the extortion of threatening to leave for a “greener” location needs to stop. Did you see the planned stadium for the Vikings with a cost in the billions? Why can’t they play their games at University of Minnesota’s stadium? It looked great on Sunday.

  20. Greg Hardy was found guilty.

    Ray Mcdonald hasn’t even been charged with a crime.

    If he is charged then he will certainly be suspended. The team just couldn’t deal with the keeping him around given the climate.

    It’s like you commenters can’t comprehend basic details.

  21. Next up, Ray McDonald. Arrested for beating a pregnant woman. Niners, do the right thing. I won’t hold my breath.

    ————————————————————

    Sure, let’s violate his rights and make an example out of him, even though he has not been charged with a crime. I hope you lose your job over a potentially false allegation.

  22. Sure, let’s violate his rights and make an example out of him, even though he has not been charged with a crime. I hope you lose your job over a potentially false allegation.

    Then the cops who arrested him TODAY should lose their jobs too. You know, because it was potentially false.

  23. I hope you lose your job over a potentially false allegation.

    The arrest was a FACT. Why was he arrested? It was in connection to the incident with the pregnant woman. So what part is false?

  24. Still nothing about Ray McDonald, the pregnant wife beater. Again, the police report says she showed apparent bruising.

  25. andreboy1 says:
    Sep 17, 2014 5:32 PM
    Greg Hardy was found guilty.

    Ray Mcdonald hasn’t even been charged with a crime.
    ___________________________

    Yes, he was charged on felony domestic violence charges.

  26. Of the top ten posts on PFT right now only two were related to on-the-field football issues. Everything else was about criminal charges, appealing fines and drug use policies. This is not my NFL any longer.

  27. The Panthers just do not have any luck with players when the franchise tag is used. See Julius Peppers Money wasted. Nuff said.

  28. gayforbrady says: Sep 17, 2014 4:43 PM

    The liberal media and special interest groups smell blood in the water and are attacking at will.

    Believe it or not the NFL needs our help.
    ———————————————————–

    I agree. I just think that most people today are so ignorant they let other people think for them.

  29. Hes fighting for his freedom(forget NFL) this guy is going to jail/Prison.
    ————————————————
    WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Geez, it’s like you people can’t research anything. He wouldn’t even face jail time because this is his first misdemeanor.

  30. gayforbrady says: Sep 17, 2014 4:43 PM

    The liberal media and special interest groups smell blood in the water and are attacking at will.

    Believe it or not the NFL needs our help.
    ———————————————————–

    I agree. I just think that most people today are so ignorant they let other people think for them.

    —————————————————————-

    Somebody please explain to me what politics has to do with ANY of this? And why is it that you Fox News droolers are convinced that everything IS political.

    Heres an idea…. maybe something needs to be done when women and children are being BEATEN. I don’t think that has to do with a political party. It has to do with decency.

  31. stew48 says: Sep 17, 2014 6:20 PM

    NC law may allow a jury trial and so cancel the guilty verdict. However, the FACT remains he was found guilty. Get over that, if you will.
    —————————————————————
    Hey stew, if one person has the power to find you guilty of whatever, I hope you still have a bill of rights to fall back on.

  32. Two happiest guys in the league. They get paid to sit at home when both will not see much in the way of the legal system. Good job, the emasculation of football is complete. They should mandate wearing the pink all the time, not just for breast cancer awareness. Peterson was disciplining his kid in a way for some reason, some of us are familiar with, but he’s been deemed a child abuser, lol. Hardy has been trashed in the media as “guilty” when he’s simply been indicted in NC’s different court system by a judge with a a known grudge. I’m so proud of all of you.

  33. myhawks1976 says: Sep 17, 2014 6:29 PM

    gayforbrady says: Sep 17, 2014 4:43 PM

    The liberal media and special interest groups smell blood in the water and are attacking at will.

    Believe it or not the NFL needs our help.
    ———————————————————–

    I agree. I just think that most people today are so ignorant they let other people think for them.

    —————————————————————-

    Somebody please explain to me what politics has to do with ANY of this? And why is it that you Fox News droolers are convinced that everything IS political.

    Heres an idea…. maybe something needs to be done when women and children are being BEATEN. I don’t think that has to do with a political party. It has to do with decency.

    ————————————————————
    Maybe not liberal, but let’s say sensationalist media. The NFL is a football league. They are not the justice system, or the FBI. The Saints broke no laws as far as I know in “Bountygate”, but the NFL took care of it as they saw fit and was their right. But when people demand that they act on players who have possibly committed crimes in the general public, we are asking them to judge guilty before they have had their day in court. Why not just say that if any player, coach, owner, or anyone paid by the NFL is charged with anything from murder to a speeding ticket is given the same treatment as Hardy and Peterson? No? Why? Is it fair? After all, one size fits all.

  34. I think Rivera is a solid coach. I dislike his team cause I cheer for an opposing team in the nfc south but Rivera stepped up and made a stand when nobody else would. Cheers to u Ron Rivera for making a stand against a pure piece of garbage. A man who beats women owns assault rifles and gives himself his own nickname. It’s time for the Panthers to show hardy what it means to really release the kraken. Cheers to you Ron rivera.

  35. Let me clarify that it is not the NFL teams that have a not-for-profit status, rather the NFL itself. It is considered a trade association. But for fans fed up with Goodell, it has to stick in your craw that a not-for-profit pays its commissioner $40+ million a year. He is a tool of ownership; a very well paid tool that pretends to have the greater good of the teams, players, fans, and communities at heart. That is just nonsense.

  36. Next up….Ray McDonald. Where’s the public and corporate outrage directed at him and the 49ers? If the NFL is driven by the court of public opinion and not due process, McDonald should be booted as well. He struck a PREGNANT woman….that’s domestic AND child abuse using the standards of conduct being applied in the NFL over the last few weeks! If due process is not allowed to run its course in these cases, then what’s good for one is good for all. McDonald needs to go too!!!

  37. Everyone wants Greg hardy out the league, if I’m not mistaken wasn’t his accuser high on cocaine? Why is that not being reported? Didn’t Greg hardy dump her as soon as he got a big raise? (Franchise tag?) Didn’t Greg hardy call the police? Not many domestic abusers call 911 too report there own domestic abuse. Not saying if your high off cocaine you deserve too be abused but I’m sure cocaine affects your judgement.

  38. Greg Hardy needed to leave and deserves to be punished if true. However, the media has turned the world against a league when 3-4 guys are the ones who have made the mistakes versus 100s who are good people and do a lot for their communities. I am actually becoming more disgusted with the people covering sports than the 3-4 guys who committed the crimes. Which is sad.

  39. What about Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell and SF’s McDonald? If the media and sponsors are going to pressure teams to deactivate/suspend players without formal convictions these two should be gone as well. Unless people don’t think a Bell’s DUI is a big deal…..I mean, it’s not as if more people are killed by driver’s under the influence than domestic violence every year. Just social justice at work here.

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