Jason Witten condemns domestic violence but supports Greg Hardy
Greg Hardy’s bid to return to the NFL after a troubling domestic violence case kept him out for 15 games last season seemed well on its way — but not without controversy — when he signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys. The comeback was put on hold after the league suspended him for the first 10 games of the 2015 season, a punishment that currently is under appeal.
The Cowboys, almost from the instant the team signed Hardy went into damage control with a PR push that included owner Jerry Jones issuing a statement where he stressed the team had done its due diligence on Hardy.
Hardy’s arrival in Dallas forced team leaders, including Tony Romo, into the arguably uncomfortable position of defending someone with a markedly stained past in order to put on a united organizational front regarding the acquisition of a talented, but troubled, player.
Veteran tight end Jason Witten, who unfortunately understands first-hand the long-lasting, devastating effects of domestic violence, has come out in support of Hardy while at the same time remaining true to himself.
Speaking at his football camp on Sunday, Witten expressed that he is able to compartmentalize the seemingly disparate issues of Hardy’s history with domestic violence and the obligation to back his teammate.
“I think more than anything I think everybody knows (I’m against) domestic violence,” he said, according to an ESPN report.
“That’s unwavering. That’s something that I lived, my family lived. But that guy is a teammate of mine, so I think you have to look at it from that standpoint. As coach (Jason) Garrett says, it’s our job to invite those guys in and create a standard of how we do things. I think he’s done a great job since he’s been here. It’s not my job to decide who comes in. I’m a tight end. But I’ve been really pleased how he’s approached it and how he goes to work and what kind of teammate he’s been. The day he got suspended, the next day he’s in there working out, so I think that’s kind of the mentality he has, what kind of work ethic (he has) and what he’s trying to prove in Dallas.”
Witten referred to Hardy as “talented,” that it’s the players’ responsibility to “embrace him as a teammate,” and that he thinks Hardy has “learned a lot from what he’s gone through in the last year.”
[NFL.com, image credit: Zimbio]