Jerry Richardson Comments on Domestic Violence


Panthers owner Jerry Richardson found himself between a rock and a hard place Wednesday night. David Newton of ESPN reports that Richardson accepted the Echo Award Against Indifference. Richardson wanted to make clear he was against domestic violence despite the fact that Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy continued to go unpunished.

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On domestic violence, Richardson said, “”Standing before you tonight, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge an issue weighing heavily on our sport and our society…When it comes to domestic violence, my stance is not one of indifference. I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple.”

Richardson argued for time in the Hardy situation, suggesting that the Panthers long reputation for integrity should be considered in how they are dealing with it. Richardson said, “To those who would suggest that we’ve been too slow to act, I ask that you consider not to be too quick to judge. Over the course of our 20 years, we have worked extremely hard to build an organization of integrity … I will work hard to continue to earn your trust.”

Richardson’s frustration with the situation was clear. As much as some people may want the Panthers to do something at this point, they really cannot. The court process has not finished. Any action that the Panthers take now would have a prejudicial impact on the trial. You will notice that the NFL has also not swept in, because they too are waiting for court process to finish.

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  • That court process is scheduled to continue in November with a jury trial. Hardy’s attorney does not believe that the case will be heard then, and probably will not be heard until 2015.

    There is a chance, as Newton noted in his article, that the Panthers will never have to take any action at all. If Hardy makes it through the season, his franchise tag contract will be up at the end of the season. That would make Hardy a free agent, and the Panthers would not even have to cut him.

    In the meantime, Hardy missed practice on Wednesday to see his attorney. Coach Rivera said that the situation was important, but he was going to restrict his comments to football. That perhaps is a lesson learned from what the Ravens did to John Harbaugh at the outset of the Ray Rice episode.

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