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Cowboys’ Hardy ripped over 9/11 tasteless joke

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The Sports Xchange

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Hardy was ripped across social media Friday night after posting a tasteless joke on Twitter referencing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hardy, who is facing a 10-game suspension by the NFL for his role in a domestic-violence case, later apologized Friday night.

Hardy was responding to a fan of his former team in Carolina after the Panthers drafted a 6-foot-5 receiver for the second straight year. The fan made a reference to the receivers as “The Twin Towers” and included photos of both receivers — Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, a second-round pick Friday night.

Hardy tweeted: “didn’t the twin towers get blowN up lol.”

The fan responded to Hardy: “It’s the Twin Towers because of KB and Funchess’s size, not because of what happened. C’mon now…”

About five hours after the original tweet, Hardy issued an apology: “Ill say this I apologize 4a comment that mentioned an event where no reference 2humor is ever ok but I hope my real fans know I would never.”

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he was aware of the tweet — which immediately went viral — and the team will discuss the matter with Hardy.

“We will address that and we’ll just leave it at that,” Jones said. “We all know that we’re living in a time now that you don’t allude or use examples that socially … are just out of step or bad taste. Those are some of the kinds of things it’s good to be able to have a good line of communication with players and address and work on.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was in the team’s draft Friday night when he heard about the tweet and already had tried to contact Hardy.

The tweet comes one week after Hardy was involved in a verbal altercation with backup defensive lineman Davon Coleman at the team’s facility and reportedly had to be separated by teammates.

The Cowboys signed the free agent Hardy on March 18 to an $11.3 million deal, but the contract has no signing bonus and includes no guaranteed money. Hardy has $9.25 million tied up in per-game roster bonuses, or $578,125 for each game active, and can attain additional bonuses tied to playing time and performance.

If the 10-game ban is upheld, Hardy’s first game back, the Cowboys’ 11th, would be Nov. 26 on Thanksgiving against his former team, the Panthers.

Hardy played only one game last season but received $13.1 million from Carolina. He was placed on the inactive roster in Week 2 and then put on the commissioner’s exempt list before Week 3. Hardy had 15 sacks with the Panthers in 2013 during his Pro Bowl season.

In July 2014, Hardy was found guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder, and threatening to kill her. Hardy received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months’ probation on misdemeanor charges, and then he appealed the judge’s ruling in favor of a jury trial. The case was dismissed in February when Holder chose not to cooperate with authorities after reportedly receiving a settlement from Hardy.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said he wasn’t disappointed in Hardy despite already having issues with a player who was suspended after the league found “sufficient credible evidence that Hardy engaged in conduct that violated NFL policies in multiple respects and with aggravating circumstances.”

On behalf of Hardy, the NFL Players Association is appealing the ruling.

“He’s obviously made a couple of decisions that you’d rather them make a better decision,” Stephen Jones said. “He’s under a microscope. You’ve got to understand that. He’s a Dallas Cowboy and he came in here under some less-than-perfect conditions and a lot’s expected. I think he’s going to learn and do better as we move forward.”


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