Greg Hardy, Swiss Cheese and Digital Ethics

Greg Hardy will not get cut; Jerry Jones won’t cut him, the player’s union won’t cut him and most fans could care less.

Domestic violence is wrong no matter who is doing the hitting and who is being hit. Man on woman, woman on man, same-sex assaults, it’s all bad. The law is very clear on such assaults. The law and not the NFL nor the NFLPA nor the Dallas Cowboys adjudicates in our society, nor even the court of opinion, political correctness and hearsay. It is the legal system.

Greg-HardyThis assault case from start to finish has more holes than Swiss cheese. We wish it were different. We really do. We wish it had been more clear-cut and that the truth was allowed to emerge. It will not.

Read the case, and what transpired. Had it gone to trial, it would have been thrown out of court. If you want the outcome to be different, then the script would have had to be differently written. You want to turn back the hands of time? It cannot be done. If you wished for maturity or common sense or good choices on the part of Hardy or the woman he allegedly assaulted, don’t waste your time. It’s over.

The law is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. We don’t want law enforcement to act outside of the law to get facts, and then we get angry in cases of our own choosing, when the law stays within its boundaries. Which way do we want it? Is Hardy at fault? We don’t know because he will never testify.

Then there are the images of the beating. We are in agreement that they are ugly as hell. What we fail to understand is the typical explosion of outrage rather than action. The written accounts of the case we read were graphic; more than graphic enough. Seeing images of the woman’s battered body in addition to the written account does not make the case any more graphic. At this point, we can only desire that 10 percent of the collective effort spent in espousing outrage at Greg Hardy was spent in helping the women, children and even men who now sit battered in shelters.

Many people are really skilled at blubbering away on their soapboxes. What they don’t do so well is to pick up tools or a paint brush or collect money for causes that actually help the abused victims.

Running away

Hardy’s girlfriend is a victim in every sense, but she failed to take action against her alleged attacker. She didn’t show up in court to level an accusation and in fact, she made herself unavailable to the courts. She also admitted she was under the influence at the time of the alleged assault. The case is a confusing jumble and she did nothing to help herself.

We don’t know what transpired in the blank space between the attack, her running away from the scene and the dismissal of the domestic violence charges. We do know that it is impossible to prosecute a case when there is no case. In this country such are our laws. They are good laws and they protect not just Greg Hardy, but you and me. We might believe Greg Hardy committed the alleged assault, but there is no provable incident.

Would the media want the NFL to throw the alleged attacker out of the league when there was no case? It is not up to us serve as judge and jury. What we think or what we believe are not relevant. I’m sorry, but it is so. If the NFL were to boot Greg Hardy from the league, we’re pretty sure he would file a law suit of his own and ironically, he could win.

There is this endless preoccupation with the NFL needing to go beyond the letter of the law. We want to convince ourselves that there must be justice for a crime we will never definitively know was committed by Greg Hardy. So our question is if the same application of justice should be applied to your workplace as well?

If a fellow employee is accused of domestic violence but his or her spouse refuses to show for a court appointment or to even talk to law enforcement or admits they were drinking and doing drugs, should the co-worker be fired anyway? If no, why then is Greg Hardy any different?

Ethically, what are we for and what are we against?

Wishing the outcome could have or should have been different is not the same thing as facing the reality the situation presents. It is a shame, but the bigger shame would be to suspend our laws for the sake of our feelings and outrage.


For more information on Sports Ethics LLC:

Chuck Gallagher, President and Co-Founder, (828) 244-1400









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