Greg Hardy appeal hearing starts Thursday morning


While the football-following world waits for a date to be picked in the Tom Brady appeal hearing, the official review of another high-profile suspension will begin on Thursday.

Commencing roughly at 10:00 a.m. ET, arbitrator Harold Henderson will consider the appeal of Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy’s 10-game suspension for violating the Personal Conduct Policy. While the NFL Players Association has concerns about Henderson’s independence, an effort will be made to persuade Henderson to reduce the suspension dramatically. Some of the key points that likely will be raised appear below.

First, the NFLPA likely will argue that the league applied the new Personal Conduct Policy retroactively to Hardy, despite a claim that the 10-game suspension arises under the old policy. The old policy ordinarily would have triggered a two-game suspension for a first-offense involving domestic violence, and the NFL has admitted that investigative procedures adopted since the Ray Rice video emerged last September were applied to Hardy. The NFLPA will argue that rules and punishments adopted post-Rice were applied retroactively to Hardy, too.

Second, the NFLPA likely will argue that the league’s reference to the presence of guns at the time of the incident shows that the league applied the new policy to Hardy, since the guns were legally owned. Under the new Personal Conduct Policy, the presence of guns can be an aggravating factor in the discipline to be imposed. Under the old policy, the presence of legally-owned firearms wouldn’t have mattered.

Third, the NFLPA likely will attack the investigation that triggered the suspension, pointing out the absence of any recording of the interview of the lead detective in Hardy’s criminal case or of the key witness who allegedly admitted that she was under the influence of one or more substances when overhearing the interaction between Hardy and his alleged victim.

Fourth, the NFLPA likely will rely on a three-hour interview of the alleged victim conducted by detectives on the morning of the incident, which allegedly conflicted with her testimony at the bench trial that resulted in the much-publicized “conviction” of Hardy. The NFLPA will argue that the three-hour interview of the alleged victim from the morning of the incident wasn’t given to the judge who presided over the bench trial, and that Hardy’s lawyers first received it four days before the jury trial that was schedule to begin in February.

As it relates to the suspension of Greg Hardy, the NFLPA will argue that the investigation and discipline never mention or deal with the contradictions between the three-hour interview with detectives and the alleged victim’s testimony at the bench trial.

On one hand, the circumstances suggest Hardy did something he shouldn’t have done. On the other hand, Hardy and all players are entitled to fair and consistent procedures based on the rules that were in place at the time the relevant conduct occurred. Fairness and justice aren’t always popular, and in some cases the NFL may be hiding behind popular opinion to justify unfair outcomes.

Or, perhaps more accurately, the NFL is determined to never again be criticized for not going far enough when punishing a player — and that the NFL has no qualms about being criticized for going too far.

30 responses to “Greg Hardy appeal hearing starts Thursday morning

  1. That “protect the shield” thing may have been valid before Goodell lied to the country on TV. Now, the most any player can do is look for a clean spot to tarnish.

  2. Timing is everything. Florio is a lawyer. He is also a football writer. PFT was started just as the NFL began it’s genesis from spectator sport to weekly law review. I like Florio’s work, but damn that man’s timing and luck was impeccable! Go Lions!

  3. We have considered your appeal of 10 games suspension……….denied

    Any other questions?

  4. He twice beat a 115 lb woman unconscious……wonder if Jerry thought about that when he signed this monster.
    I was Team Hardy until I saw this…So the “bad man” knocked her out.
    Then the “monster” threw a bucket of ice water on her, woke her up and
    knocked her out again. Goodell should have given him 20 games.

  5. The article clearly shows the trial was at best misguided, and at worst, a sham, and yet the trolls are still here demanding his head.

  6. I for one had never heard that the “victims” 3 hour interview by detectives hasn’t been seen let alone read by the judge. Nor did I know there were inconsistencies between her story during the interview and her story at the bench trial. The fact that people can read that part of this article (if they did at all or if they just saw the name Greg Hardy and started spewing their ignorance) and still believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s guilty just goes to show how much some people really care about the difference between alleged and convicted when the Dallas Cowboys are part of the story. I’ve said it before on here and I’ll say it again if you’ve never been accused if assaulting a female with no proof whatsoever that it happened (because it didn’t) you don’t understand how quick the judge will be to take the woman’s side and view you as some “woman beater” piece of trash .

  7. Panther fan here, and still a Greg Hardy fan- I’m sure NFC East fans don’t know the facts about the Hardy situation because we aren’t a “big market”, (although NC is the fastest growing state in the country, I’m sure yall wouldn’t know that)… Let me throw some knowledge at ya:

    Greg Hardy never knocked his girlfriend unconscious twice like the above poster has said. Where did you hear that?! Nicole Holder showed up to first court hearing without a scratch and could ever prove that he even touched her… Classic “her word vs his” situation where sympathy is given to little white girl over the large, rich black man.

    In that first hearing, she admits to being drunk and high on coke the night everything supposedly went down. Why is this fact never brought up around here?

    Mind you, this is the same chick who had been dating rapper Nelly up until she started hanging out with Hardy. Fact is, she is a gold digger who has had that reputation around Charlotte for a while. Let’s just say- she gets around and everyone around here knows it.

    Greg Hardy is no angel; there’s no disputing that, and although he may have too many guns (though registered legally), there has been no proof that Hardy ever touched that woman.

    This was a money grab by a woman taking advantage of a football player caught in a domestic violence case weeks after the Ray Rice fiasco, period.


  8. I think the NFL is looking for an opportunity to televise this (and Brady’s) review. Kinda like an NFL Dr. Phil show with RG playing the lead. Reality TV at its best

  9. “Recent events have brought to our attention that our personal conduct policy contained some blind spots that allowed only for inadequate punishments of certain behavior. We regret the oversight, have adjusted our policies, informed our players, and will enforce these new policies firmly and with conviction going forward. We appreciate the dedication of our fans and their willingness to sound off on how the league should best preserve its integrity.”

    There. That is all the NFL had to do and say when these cases went down last year. Rip the band-aid off, admit that it was an oversight to have drug penalties be worse than the penalties for seemingly far worse criminal acts, make the changes, and move forward.

    Instead, the NFL has made a mockery of procedure and player rights, acting with little reason while making itself a slave to the media and public sentiments. It is no beholden to the tyranny of the masses, and we have seen the downside of that in the past year. What a shame that the NFL isn’t run by a man with the gonads to do what must be done, properly, and without worry as to how people will react to specifics when what matters is the big picture and the long-term health of the league!

  10. Has the NFL ever admitted to making a mistake (other than a call by the refs)?

    I’ve never seen them admit they acted too fast or without all the information in a specific case. I’ve never seen them admit to any fault in disciplinary action. I guess they just shoot from the hip sometimes and and count on the appeals process to clean it up.

    I don’t think Goodell has made this game better since he became the commissioner. He has contradictory actions such as trying to remove the kick-off for player safety but then moving the extra point back, thus ensuring more contact on a play where there was very little before. In this case, applying new penalties to an act committed when the rules where different less than a year ago.

  11. You mean that Harold Henderson the alleged “independent” arbiter. What a scam. He is Goodell in a different body and Goodells mouthpiece.

    Has ZERO chance of winning this appeal. And Henderson will take 6 weeks to say appeal denied.

    This whole NFL appeals process is a joke. Only way to win is to have a TOTALLY INDEPENDENT arbiter not the scam system the NFL has in place

  12. No matter who is telling the truth and at this point only two people really know what that is, Goodell will find a way to screw this mess up even further than he already has.

  13. I think its time for NFL players to act like men , stand up and accept punishment they deserve. I have no tolerance or sympathy for Hardy who has been a problem since his days in college. In this case he committed a horrible crime against a women was convicted by a judge, appealed, paid the women NOT to appear and beat the system. That’s justice? The man should be sitting in jail not and the Union is a disgrace as well. Cowboy fans thinks its OK but those same fans would say Hardy got what he deserved if he played for the Eagles. Justice would be serving out his suspension, paying for his mistake then moving on with his career.

  14. Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincy, Tyrone Crawford…

    QBs are gonna be running for their lives this season…

  15. Just another example of the NFL’s holier than cow approach to player discipline. Goodell is judge, jury and executioner. When all your decisions are driven by public relations concerns, it’s impossible to get a fair hearing. Ask Jonathan Vilma and Sean Peyton.

  16. Even though this dude is a complete scumbag, his suspension should and will be reduced. He committed his cowardice act before the new domestic violence regulations were put into place.

    And yes, he did commit the acts he’s accused of Cowboy/Hardy fans. He tossed a woman around like a rag doll onto a bed full of guns. He was not found innocent in a court of law, he did not win his appeal. The woman suddenly went missing and the court had no choice but to dismiss. AKA Hardy paid her off.

    The fact is he was CONVICTED originally in court. To the above posters who say there’s no evidence, how does a millionaire with a top defense team get convicted with no evidence. Do some research. The exact words of the judge:

    “evidence persuades beyond reasonable doubt that Hardy beat Holder, threw her around his apartment, then tried to hide his actions with a fabricated 911 call.”

    If your defending him your a complete homer and need to check yourself. Defending him says your okay with guys roughing up girls. Whether she’s a gold digger or a druggie doesn’t give you the right to beat her.

    Imagine if it were your mother or sister this pro athlete was tossing around. You must also be fans of Floyd mayweather, ray rice, and ray McDonald to name a few. Don’t let a game have you walking around talking out of your butt, going to bat for a low life like Hardy.

  17. All Hardy ever does is appeal and pay off the injured parties and collect checks from the Panthers for working on a personal rap album. Go figure?

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