NFL Wire News

Dallas mayor calls Hardy signing ‘shot in the gut’


The mayor of Dallas ripped into the Dallas Cowboys’ controversial signing of defensive end Greg Hardy — despite serious domestic violence allegations — and called the decision a “shot in the gut.”

On Wednesday, the Cowboys announced they signed the free agent Hardy to a one-year deal after two days of negotiations.

“As a Cowboys fan, this was a shot in the gut,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told the Dallas Morning News on Thursday.

“I’m a big Cowboys fan. I love them to death and I want them to beat the Eagles every time they play. But at some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys any time soon.”

According to the newspaper, Rawlings has made anti-domestic violence efforts one of the signature issues of his tenure.

Hardy, who was a 2013 Pro Bowl selection after leading the Carolina Panthers with 15 sacks, remains on the commissioner’s exempt list and could face an NFL suspension of as many as six games for an alleged domestic assault last year.

The 26-year-old Hardy was arrested and charged with assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, in May. He was convicted last summer, but he appealed the ruling by the judge and a jury trial set for Feb. 9 in Charlotte, N.C., did not occur because Holder did not appear to testify. The case was dismissed.

The Dallas mayor, who appears to have a close relationship with the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones over the years, spoke out against the Hardy signing during an interview at his office.

“It is something that I heard about and immediately called the Cowboys this morning,” Rawlings said Thursday of the the Cowboys’ decision to sign Hardy. “I had a couple of conversations with them because I wanted to hear their side.”

Jones addressed Hardy’s situation in a statement released by the team Wednesday.

“We have spent a great deal of time over the last two days in meeting with Greg directly and gaining a solid understanding of what he is all about as a person and as a football player,” Jones said. “A thorough background review of him, involving many elements of our organization, has been ongoing for the last few weeks.

“Obviously a great deal of our study was dedicated to the issue of domestic violence and the recent events that associated Greg with that issue. We know that Greg’s status remains under review by the National Football League. Our organization understands the very serious nature of domestic violence in our society and in our league. We know that Greg has a firm understanding of those issues as well.”

Rawlings said he will still root for the Cowboys.

“That doesn’t mean I have to agree with every play that’s called and every person that’s hired, and in this case, I don’t,” the mayor said.

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