Outrage at a Fever Pitch Over Cowboys' Decision to Play Greg Hardy

Images from an alleged domestic violence incident involving Hardy were released.

ByABC News
November 9, 2015, 5:29 PM

— -- The Dallas Cowboys are still getting flack today for the team's decision to play defensive end Greg Hardy on Sunday, after graphic pictures were released showing his ex-girlfriend's bruises from an alleged domestic violence incident.

During and after the game Sunday, which the Philadelphia Eagles won, 33-27, players, spectators and announcers alike voiced their disapproval.

"Why in the world is Greg Hardy playing?" USA Today columnist Christine Brennan said.

"There are three (types) of people I have zero respect for in this world," said Eagles Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "It's people who hit women, people who molest children and rapists."

After the game, Hardy, an All-Pro defensive end, was seen avoiding reporters and climbing into his Ferrari that had been parked right outside the locker room. On Saturday, though, he sent out a tweet, apologizing and expressing gratitude to the Cowboys for "the opportunity to play" in the NFL.

In July 2014, Hardy was convicted on domestic violence charges after then-girlfriend Nicole Holder said he'd thrown her in the bathroom, choked her, tossed her on a couch covered in semiautomatic weapons and then threatened to kill her.

In September, Hardy agreed to be placed on the commissioner's exempt list, which suspended him from playing, as he and his lawyers appealed the court decision. The charges against Hardy were dropped in February when Holder failed to show up for the hearing. Prosecutors said that Holder and Hardy had reached a monetary settlement.

The NFL suspended Hardy for 10 games but then reduced that number to four during an arbitration hearing. The Cowboys signed Hardy in March to a one-year deal worth more than $13 million.

After the images were posted Deadspin.com on Friday, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said the team was giving Hardy "a second chance."

"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 do not condone domestic violence...we have given Greg a second chance," Jones said in a statement posted to the team's website.

On Sunday, Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett reiterated that the team took domestic violence seriously.

"We knew that when we signed Greg Hardy, there would be some criticism that came with that," Garrett said, according to ESPN. "He knows what the expectations and standards are. We're going to hold him accountable to those."