Speaking of guys who keep saying all the right things and not necessarily following up on their words with actions, Greg Hardy’s talking again.
And whether it went better than the last time he tried image-rehabilitation may depend mostly on your personal philosophy on forgiveness and redemption.
Via MMAFighting.com, Hardy did an interview this week with The MMA Hour in which he played all the hits, expressing something approaching but not quite reaching remorse for his domestic violence arrest, vowing sobriety after a recent cocaine possession arrest and keeping hope alive for a football career that depends on a spring minor league tour in West Virginia.
Hardy’s currently training as an MMA fighter, where his opponents will presumably be men, ones who have been practicing the art for more than a few weeks. But he said the instruction has been good for him.
“It’s helped me a lot of ways,” Hardy said. “I have a lot of problems as a human being. It’s not something that you do, just walking around saying ‘I’m perfect’ or ‘I’m good.’ Man, I have a lot of different issues that I’m definitely working through and working on. I would say this helps me channel everything. It helps me just come back down to Earth, be humble, because these are machines that I see everyday. I get choked out, punched in the face, and laid out on the mat daily, and that’s not something that a guy my size and my stature with my history has every come across.
“It’s a humbling experience, man. Actually, it’s making me really appreciative of everything that I’ve had and everything that I have, and the opportunity that I have to kinda come in and show myself as a guy that is not what everybody says on TV, or, ‘he’s not a monster, he’s not a killer, a women beater,’ this, that and the other. It gives me an opportunity to just come in, be a humble guy, and learn, and honestly just be at the feet of all these champions who walk around like they’re just normal guys . . . and have the opportunity to make myself better one more time, one last time in sports and life in general.”
Asked about the pending cocaine charges, Hardy said “I don’t even think I can remember,” the last time he used alcohol or drugs, which may not be the best answer either.
“It feels like I did this to me, and it sucks,” he said. “I was where I needed to be, I had everything that I wanted, and the normal story is, ‘Man, somebody took it away,’ and I don’t have that. I took it away from myself. Now I’m nobody. I’m nowhere. I’m just in the middle of where I put myself.”
“Like I said, I’m in this position that I’m in, I did it to myself,” Hardy said. “But at the same time, nobody knows the whole story, so I have to take everything with a grain of salt.”
There was a lot more, and he worked very hard to portray a man who was genuinely sorry for his past problems. At least the ones he’d admit to.
But after no one in the NFL was willing to take a chance on a guy who once had 15.0 sacks in a season, he should probably expect that people are only going to believed he’s changed when they see it.