Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor told the New York Daily News that he applauds the Dallas Cowboys for signing defensive end Greg Hardy and providing him with a second chance in the NFL following his 2014 domestic violence charges.
“I think [the Cowboys] needed to give him another chance because it’s not clear what happened,” Taylor said. “It’s not really 100% clear what happened. So listen, I think they need to give him a chance.”
Hardy was originally found guilty and sentenced to 18 months probation and a 60-day suspended jail sentence for assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. His punishment was vacated after he appealed the guilty verdict, and charges against him were subsequently dropped when Holder failed to appear at the jury trial.
Hardy claimed in court that Holder’s wounds were self-inflicted. He also told NFL officials that Holder simply tripped and fell into a bathtub during the incident, though Holder contended Hardy threw her into the bathtub and dragged her from the bathroom by her hair.
Hardy and Holder are believed to have reached a civil settlement outside of court. His original 10-game suspension was reduced to four in July after an NFLPA appeal, and he returned to the field on Oct. 11.
“I think he is going to make the best of that second chance because I’ll tell you what, he could have been screwed,” Taylor added. “A lot of people have been screwed in this league. But he got a do-over, and you got to do the best you can. You got to make the best you can with that do-over.”
Taylor served a 30-day suspension for a second failed drug test in 1988, but returned to earn Pro Bowl honors in 1989 and 1990 before winning Super Bowl XXV with the Giants. After retirement, he was jailed three times for attempted drug possession after his retirement. In 2010, Taylor pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct involving a 16-year-old sex worker.
The Cowboys have not won a game since Hardy’s return.
- Christopher Chavez