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Editor’s note: This story contains descriptions and photos of domestic violence and may be triggering for some readers.
NFL star Greg Hardy was convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend during a bench trial in North Carolina in 2014. Those charges were dropped on appeal when Nicole Holder stopped cooperating and were later expunged from the record.
Hardy—one of the best defensive ends in football who missed all of last season and then was suspended by the league for 10 games before it was reduced to four games on appeal—allegedly threw his former girlfriend on a futon filled with guns and allegedly threatened to have her killed.
Deadspin released dozens of photos on Friday that were taken after the alleged attack by Hardy—who played for the Panthers at the time and who is currently employed by the Cowboys. They are, of course, disturbing. Here’s a small sampling:
Hardy’s lawyers, both current and former, declined to comment to Deadspin, and the Cowboys, whose owner Jerry Jones recently called Hardy a great leader of the team, declined comment as well.
According to reports, the NFL viewed the photos before suspending Hardy for 10 games.
Clarifying Nicole Holder injury photos: League had access to every photo Deadspin published, plus 7 additional that weren’t in case file.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) November 6, 2015
The Cowboys reportedly weren’t allowed to see them before signing him, though “the Cowboys were aware of the photos and had an understanding of what they showed.”
Since he returned to the Cowboys locker room after his suspsension, Hardy has been anything but silent. He’s released a rap video containing misogynistic lyrics, made other misogynistic comments about Tom Brady’s wife, and got into a physical altercation with an assistant coach during a game.
For now, it remains unclear whether the Cowboys will keep Hardy on its roster and continue to play him. Remember, former running back Ray Rice hasn’t played a down of football since video emerged of him knocking out his fiance in an Atlantic City hotel. But Hardy, unlike Rice, is still an effective player. And in the NFL, that’s what usually makes the difference.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.