Free agent defensive end Greg Hardy was given a chance to explain on ESPN what happened on the day he was accused of domestic violence. Hardy declined to explain.
In an interview that aired today, Adam Schefter asked Hardy, “How do you explain what happened?”
Hardy answered, “I don’t think I want to get into a situation like that. It’s in the past. I want to say that I’m an innocent man, I’ve been proven not guilty, and it’s a situation that’s in my past. And I feel like, as a grown man, as a football player of my caliber there are situations, inside that situation, where it has nothing to do with the situation, but I could have done better. I should have done better.”
Hardy’s goal in granting Schefter the exclusive interview was obviously to present himself as a person an NFL team could proudly add to its roster, but that answer isn’t gong to do Hardy any favors. If he’s an innocent man, why won’t he answer the simple question, What happened?
It also isn’t accurate for Hardy to say he’s “been proven not guilty.” Charges were dropped after he reached a civil settlement with his accuser and she declined to testify against him in a criminal trial. That’s a far cry from being “proven not guilty.”
When Schefter asked Hardy how his accuser got bruises on his body — bruises that have been documented in graphic photographs — Hardy answered, “Like I said, that’s a conversation for lawyers. Pictures are pictures and they can be made to look like whatever they want to.”
Again, that’s not a satisfying answer. Is Hardy suggesting that the pictures were doctored? If so, why wouldn’t he have said so clearly and unequivocally the moment the pictures were first used as evidence against him?
Hardy tried to portray himself as having been treated unfairly, saying he feels that he’s become “a leper.” That won’t change after this interview. In fact, NFL teams will likely be even less interested in signing Hardy now than they were before.