On Tuesday, amid the surreal chaos and chaos of live sports television, CBS dropped the bomb that Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was being suspended for four games for domestic violence and hit with a $13,731,552 fine.
Hardy’s case is a haunting reminder of the glamorization of violence against women. Throughout his career, NFL teams have shelled out significant contracts to this aggressive, gunslinging, fourth-quarter “Sopranos”-like “kill game” defenseman with a history of questionable character. We paid him a hefty salary to play in the NFL, and we gave a million-dollar flat-rate bonus to his agent if he transferred to a new team.
But while we took notice of Hardy’s domestic violence–and rightfully so–the football fans still enjoyed him on the field.
The aggression on the field may have been a misguided response to the intransigence of Mr. Hardy’s head coach. But his standing in life might be the best possible solution.
Let’s focus on the corporate legacy of Mr. Hardy. He had a colossal contract, he was part of a proud, new breed of athletes, and he was suiting up in a major city. From such a position of power, one might expect to struggle a bit as there were few men who were a size or a stripe bigger than him.
It didn’t turn out that way. While he was blithely in and out of trouble on the field, he made friends with rival wide receivers and fight his friends, and better yet, he got paid to do so.