Tags: nfl | carolina | hardy | deactivated

NFL's Carolina Deactivates Hardy as League Draws More Fire

Sunday, 14 Sep 2014 02:43 PM

The NFL's Carolina Panthers deactivated defensive end Greg Hardy for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, according to the team's website, in a reversal of an earlier decision to let him play while he appeals a domestic violence conviction.

The move comes after a week of fierce criticism over the National Football League's handling of a domestic violence case involving three-time Pro Bowler Ray Rice. The outrage over the NFL's response to the incident has led to calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down.

The Panthers listed Hardy as inactive about two hours before the team's home opener against the Lions. It offered no reason and officials of the team could not be reached immediately for comment. As late as Friday, the team indicated Hardy, who was found guilty by a judge of assaulting his former girlfriend, would continue to play while he was appealing.

Adding to the league's embarrassment, Minnesota Vikings' star running back Adrian Peterson was arrested on Saturday and charged with injuring a child after using a switch to spank his son, his lawyer said. The Vikings deactivated Peterson on Friday immediately after the allegations surfaced.

On Sunday, the issue of domestic violence by NFL players overshadowed any discussion of the afternoon's lineup of games.

"We started the week with players beating up women, we ended the week with players beating up children," retired NFL player Tom Jackson said on Sunday during ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown." "We are in a very serious state in the National Football League."

The women's rights group UltraViolet said it planned to fly banners over four pro football stadiums on Sunday and on Monday night calling on Goodell to resign over his handling of Rice's case.

"It is time for Roger Goodell to resign, and for the NFL to get serious about its commitment to ending violence against women within the league," UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary said in a written statement.

Goodell, the NFL commissioner since 2006, admitted he "didn't get it right" when initially punishing Rice with a two-game suspension. He indefinitely suspended Rice on Monday after a video surfaced showing Rice knocking out his girlfriend in an elevator in a New Jersey casino.

Goodell has said the league had not seen the video previously but questions about what the league knew and when have not died down.

NFL analyst Ray Lewis, a former Baltimore teammate of Rice, sounded a personal note in talking about the pain of domestic abuse.

"What Ray Rice did was inexcusable," Lewis said on ESPN. "If I was to close my eyes, one thing I remember vividly was my mom being beaten. But the one thing I also remember is not one of the men who beat my mom was in the National Football League.

Lewis said he was concerned that NFL players were being branded unfairly, because domestic violence was widespread.

"This is not a football problem. This is a world problem. Every nine seconds a woman is being brutally beaten. It bothers me a little bit when we're the focus of this attention."

Goodell, who serves at the behest of the NFL team owners, appears to still enjoy their support.

Washington Redskins' owner Dan Snyder on Saturday became the latest owner to back Goodell's handling of the Rice case. "Roger Goodell has always had the best interests of football at heart, both on and off the field," Snyder said in the statement on Saturday. "The entire Washington Redskins organization strongly endorses his efforts to eradicate domestic abuse and the independent investigation into the Ray Rice assault."

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The NFL's Carolina Panthers deactivated defensive end Greg Hardy for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, according to the team's website, in a reversal of an earlier decision to let him play while he appeals a domestic violence conviction. The move comes after a week...
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Sunday, 14 Sep 2014 02:43 PM
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