It was a lot easier for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to declare defensive end Greg Hardy a “real leader,” and brush aside concerns about his previous domestic violence arrest, because there was no visual to go with the charges.
And while it might not be as viscerally jarring as a videotape of Ray Rice punching his wife in the face, we now have more evidence of what happened between Hardy and his former girlfriend in Charlotte
Deadspin has published a gallery of photos of Nicole Holder, showing her injuries from the incident in May 2014. There are a number of shots of large bruises on her back, along with injuries to her arms and legs and feet. The photos were part of evidence that was sealed during his trial.
He was convicted by a judge in Charlotte, but the case was thrown out on appeal after Holder didn’t appear in court, following a civil settlement. The charges were expunged from the record this week.
Hardy was initially suspended 10 games by the league for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, but that was eventually shortened to four.
If the NFL had access to the photos published today, it helps explain commissioner Roger Goodell’s going hard with the initial punishment, after the embarrassment of initially suspending Rice two games.