Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, whose involvement in a 2014 domestic violence incident became the focus of renewed scrutiny Friday when Deadspin published photos of his former girlfriend’s bruises, claimed he was “innocent until proven guilty” in a brief, since-deleted alteration to his Twitter profile on Wednesday.
“Innocent until proven guilty-lack of knowledge & information is just ignorance-the unjust/prejudicial treatment of diff categories of people is discrimination,” Hardy wrote in the verified account’s bio.
The field was later changed to the lyrics to the hook of Tupac Shakur’s 1997 single Hail Mary: “Come with me Hail Mary Run quick see What do we have here now wana be my ride or die La la la la la la (SuperBlockParty).”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, speaking to reporters at a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s practice, said the team “addressed” the change with Hardy but declined to elaborate on the specifics of the meeting.
“I think the biggest thing we try to do with any player is just address things when they come up, and we address them in-house and we deal with things inside these walls and then we move forward,” Garrett said.
Hardy, then with the Carolina Panthers, was arrested and charged with attacking and threatening Nicole Holder in May 2014, allegedly choking her, throwing her into a bathtub and on a futon covered with assault rifles in an uptown Charlotte condominium. He was convicted in a bench trial of communicating threats and assault on a female, but permitted under North Carolina law to appeal for a jury trial. Following the appeal, the case was thrown out on the first day in court in February when Holder stopped cooperating with authorities and could not be located despite an exhaustive search by prosecutors.
Hardy’s request for the charges be expunged from his record was granted by a Mecklenburg County judge last week, essentially making him innocent after the fact.
In April, the NFL suspended Hardy for the first 10 games of this season under the league’s personal conduct policy. The sanction came four weeks after he signed a one-year, $11.3m contract with the Cowboys and was reduced to four games by an independent arbitrator in July.
The sixth-year Pro Bowl outside linebacker has recorded 15 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception in the four games since returning from the ban on 11 October, all Dallas losses.
It’s not the first time Hardy has made a miscue on social media. In May, the 27-year-old responded to a tweet from a Panthers fan, dubbing Carolina’s wide receiver tandem of Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess as the ‘Twin Towers’ due to their formidable height, by tweeting: “didn’t the twin towers get blowN up lol”.
Hardy apologized for making light of the September 11 attacks in a subsequent post, saying: “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”.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 11th November 2015 19.32 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010