Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson broke down in tears while speaking about domestic violence at an event he was being honored at Wednesday night.
Richardson was responding to the suggestion that the Panthers have been too lenient on defensive end Greg Hardy, and said he is not indifferent when it comes to domestic violence.
"I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple. To those who would suggest that we've been too slow to act, I ask that you consider not to be too quick to judge," Richardson said, according to the Charlotte Observer.
In July, Hardy was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and communicating threats. He is appealing the verdict and played in Carolina's season opener on Sunday.
It is the NFL's policy to wait until after the legal system runs its course before handing out punishment. Hardy has a trial scheduled for November and said in August that he hasn't heard anything from the NFL since his conviction.
His ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, testified that Hardy insulted her and threw her onto a futon with four firearms on it, then proceeded to choke her and threatened to kill her.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was scheduled to present an award at the event, but did not attend.
On Aug. 28, the NFL introduced a new domestic violence policy, where a first domestic violence offense is a six-game suspension and a second offense is a lifetime ban.
Video of Richardson's remarks, courtesy of the Charlotte Observer:
- Molly Geary