A Philadelphia Eagles fan originated a petition compiling over 70,000 signatures to expel Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy from the NFL for allegedly beating his former girlfriend in the summer of 2014.
A North Carolina court convicted the 6’5”-280 lbs lineman of assault and communicating threats on Nicole Holder. ESPN reported in July of 2014 that Mecklenburg County Judge Rebecca Thorn-Tin sentenced Hardy to 18 months’ probation and a 60-day suspended jail sentence.
During the trial the 27-year-old ex-girlfriend testified against Hardy that “he looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me. I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly, I said, ‘Just do it. Kill me.’”
An appeals court overturned Hardy’’s conviction in February, reported USA Today, when prosecutors dismissed the charges after the accuser Holder mysteriously couldn’t be found. After sitting out the first four games this season, Hardy registered 4.5 sacks and an interception for a Cowboys team in last place, one game behind the Philadelphia Eagles, in the NFL East.
Fox Sports reported that Freddy Martinez from Roy, Utah, who created the petition on Change.org, sent it to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claiming that the 27-year-old, five-year NFL veteran “is playing in the NFL today with little consequence for his actions.” Martinez wrote in the petition,”That must change: The Cowboys should immediately release him, and the NFL should make sure that he never plays another game in the league again.”
Goodell came under heavy fire last year for initially levying a weak two-game suspension against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. After a video showed Rice knocking out his fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City elevator. After severe media pressure and public outrage, the commissioner upped the mandated break to six games and then meted out an indefinite suspension.