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UPDATE 4/22/15: the NFL announced that Hardy will be suspended for the first 10 games of the season.

The NFL found that Hardy had used physical force against his ex-girlfriend on at least four separate occasions. Hardy is expected to appeal the suspension.


Here's what sportscaster Dale Hansen had to say a few months ago before the NFL took action:

Dale Hansen is a Dallas sportscaster known for speaking his mind and saying awesome things.

In the past, he's taken a stand against racism and homophobia in the sports world. True to form, he recently took on another monster topic: domestic violence in professional football.

His latest "unplugged" rant took on his hometown team, the Dallas Cowboys, for signing a player accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

The player's name is Greg Hardy, and he's one of the best players in all of football. On the field, he's been known to do stuff like this:

(He's the guy in the dark jersey making the tackle.)

Hansen took the Cowboys to task for signing Hardy, using the situation to highlight the team's history of providing a home to players with questionable pasts.

(Running back Joseph Randle was arrested on drug charges in February 2015, former wide receiver Sam Hurd was sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug trafficking in 2013, and defensive tackle Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter in 2012.)

(Running back Joseph Randle also was arrested for theft in 2014.)

Last year, audio from a 911 call about Hardy and ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder was released to the public.

On the 911 call, Hardy told the operator that Holder hit him with a shoe. In her request for a restraining order, Holder described the encounter like this:

(Trigger warning: description of domestic abuse)

"Hardy picked me up and threw me into the tile tub area in his bathroom. I have bruises from head to toe, including my head, neck, back, shoulders, arms, legs, elbow and feet. Hardy pulled me from the tub by my hair, screaming at me that he was going to kill me, break my arms and other threats that I completely believe. He drug me across the bathroom and out into the bedroom. Hardy choked me with both hands around my throat while I was lying on the floor. Hardy picked me up over his head and threw me onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns. I landed on those weapons."

Those are some brutal accusations.

Charges against Hardy were dropped after Holder chose not to cooperate with prosecutors, as is often the case because victims would rather not make a scene and are pressured into letting the situation be handled quietly.


The whole ordeal came just as the NFL was recovering from the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal.

The NFL has taken steps to improve their domestic violence problem. They've put a huge emphasis on the idea that teams and players will stand silently "no more."

It's hypocritical of teams to say they care about football's domestic violence problem and then go around signing accused abusers to multi-million dollar contracts.

Dale Hansen wasn't having it, and in calling them out, he said what so many of us in the audience have been thinking. Teams need to put their money where their mouth is and distance themselves from off-field abusers.


Until then, there will always be the amazing Dale Hansen.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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