The Greg Hardy Conundrum: It Starts With “Sorry”

It was just over a year ago when NFL cast off, Greg Hardy, first popped up on the MMA radar. Hardy was an elite defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, with his team leading 15 sacks in 2013 and the good form earned Hardy a spot on the pro bowl team.

However, in 2014 Hardy’s career came completely off the metaphorical rails when he was charged with domestic violence, when his ex-girlfriend claimed he had assaulted her and made threats on her life. Hardy was convicted of his crimes and sentenced, but he would go on to appeal. Hardy won the appeal when the victim failed to appear and testify.

When it was announced that Hardy would be featured on the contender series it was met with a large contingency of fans, and media alike condemning the UFCs decision. Since winning, and subsequently getting signed by the UFC, he has enjoyed top billing on each of the events he has fought on and in this weekend’s San Antonio fight night he will meet Juan Adams on the main card.

Adams has not held back on his views of Hardy and his past, namely because his mother was the victim of domestic abuse. Hardy has always held steadfast in his answers, when asked about his past. His inability to convey any remorse adds further fuel to the, already raging fire.

Now, some people will never allow Hardy any piece for what he had done, and rightfully so, he is nearly 300lbs and to think there is any reason for him to lay hands on a woman is ludicrous. His actions were hideous and no amount of athletic ability or accomplishments will erase his ugly actions.

Images Via DeadSpin

If Hardy is to ever gain back some minuscule amount of respect it all starts with two words, “I’m sorry”. Thats right, a simple apology would go a lot further than the simplistic and, borderline, evasive answers. Instead of attacking the issue, Hardy chooses to use closed answers such as, “I can’t help my past” or “some people will never let it go.”

You’re a pro athlete who threatened to kill a woman, it’s not exactly something people should let go or forget about. When listening to his interviews it’s a matter of him being too stupid to understand the gravity of what he did, or the inability to come up the the compassion needed to address such a topic. It’s almost as though addressing it would mean some sort of defeat on his part.

For many Hardy is a stark reminder of the amount of leash that is sometimes given to people who possess some form of talent. It’s as though the talent, somehow, elevates them above their atrocious actions. Some have made it their business to rebuild their reputation, Mike Tyson comes to mind.

At the core of Tyson’s crusade is the acceptance of his past transgressions, ownership of what he is and the faults that lie within him. With that said, nothing will ever absolve a person fully of their past actions as it pertains to crimes such as sexual assault or domestic violence.

Maybe one day Hardy will reach a point in his life where he is able to look back on the things he did and show humility, a day when all his gifts are gone and he is looking for that next chapter. The one where he is no longer “special”, maybe on that day he will find the words that many want to hear him say, “I’m Sorry, I was wrong.”