Roger Goodell hands Greg Hardy hearing to Harold Henderson


Roger Goodell is handing the ball off, but he’s giving it to a guy with a familiar playbook.

According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, the commissioner is waiving his right to hear the appeal of Greg Hardy’s 10-game suspension, and is instead passing it off to Harold Henderson.

On a week when the NFL has plenty of other fires to put out, that could potentially create another one.

Henderson also heard the appeal of Adrian Peterson’s suspension, and upheld Goodell’s findings, based on the idea that Goodell was within his rights to apply the league’s new domestic violence policy to a case that predated its existence. As you might imagine, the NFLPA wasn’t really cool with that, questioning Henderson’s neutrality from the start.

Of course, the union will almost certainly take the decision to court if Henderson rubber-stamps Goodell’s findings this time through. They did that last time, and Judge David Doty sent the case back to Henderson, ordering a repeat of the appeals process. That never happened, because Peterson was reinstated before it could occur.

But with that as context, it’s also worth noting that when the league suspended Hardy for 10 games, they never used the words “domestic violence,” referring to it only as “conduct detrimental to the league,” a much broader scope.

Goodell has suspended players for eight (Chris Henry) and 16 games (Adam Jones) for conduct detrimental in the past, so they could argue that Hardy’s 10 is not out of line.

Regardless, handing it off to Henderson just creates another legal drama. Goodell has proven he’s willing to lose in court if it means winning in the court of public opinion, so digging in and then doubling down on Hardy shouldn’t be a surprise.

9 responses to “Roger Goodell hands Greg Hardy hearing to Harold Henderson

  1. Goodell is either arrogant, stupid or both — sending the Hardy appeal to the same guy who’s decision on a similar case a federal judge not only reversed but found wasn’t actually neutral.

  2. Goodell and Henderson will look like fools when it goes to court and is overturned to a two game suspension which is all the CBA allows.

  3. Why do people keep saying that 2 games is all that is allowed in the CBA?

    That is flawed – the Personal Conduct Policy is left to the discretion of the commissioner. Meaning, that he has the ability to suspend for as long as he likes. BTW, Aldon Smith was suspended for 10 games recently as well.

    Regarding whether he wins or loses when the PA appeals to a court, he doesn’t care nor does he have to. Public opinion is behind him and that is all that either he or the owners care about.

    Even if Hardy were to win, when the NFL appeals he will be out as long if not longer than he was originally scheduled to be out. So at the end of the day, that win will mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.

  4. At this rate we’ll be 10 games into the season anyway before anything gets decided. NFL needs to get their chits together.

  5. To put this in social terms, the issues with police and the punishment of corrupt acts done by police marry with the issues with punishment meted out by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s representative gives the case to. The Commissioner’s representative is going to back the commissioner damned near every time, if not every time the same way that the police leadership is going to back corrupt police. Just a darned shame.

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