Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy declined to speak to the media on Friday after Deadspin published photos showing injuries Hardy inflicted on his ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder in a May 2014 incident.
In a bench trial in July 2014, Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a female and communicating threats, and was sentenced to 18 months probation and a 60-day suspended jail sentence. Hardy’s punishment was vacated when he appealed the guilty verdict, and charges against him were subsequently dropped when Holder failed to appear at the jury trial.
According to the initial arrest warrant, Hardy, who was then playing for the Carolina Panthers, injured Holder by grabbing her and throwing her to the floor and into a bathtub. The police report also said he strangled her and slammed her against a futon, which Holder later alleged was covered by “assault weapons and/or shotguns.”
Hardy claimed in court that Holder’s wounds were self-inflicted. Hardy and Holder are believed to have reached a civil settlement outside of court.
Hardy originally faced a 10-game NFL suspension following his guilty verdict on misdemeanor domestic violence charges. It was reduced to four games in July after an NFL Players Association appeal.
The NFL had access to all of the photos that were published on Friday, according to The Charlotte Observer. The NFLPA also had access to the photos before working toward the suspension reduction, according to The Huffington Post.
The Cowboys reportedly did not have access to the photos before signing Hardy, according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post. The Cowboys declined to comment.
Owner Jerry Jones issued the following statement on Friday night:
“While we did not have access to the photos that became public today, we were and are aware of the serious nature of this incident. We as an organization take this very seriously. We do not condone domestic violence. We entered into the agreement with Greg fully understanding that there would be scrutiny and criticism. We have given Greg a second chance. He is a member of our team and someone who is grateful for the opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career.”
Deadspin acquired and published the photos as part of an investigation into Hardy's arrest.
Hardy, a 2013 second team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection, signed a one-year deal worth up to $13 million with the Cowboys in March. He missed games against the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints to start the 2015 season, before returning to the field on Oct. 11 at home against the New England Patriots.
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