CHICAGO Roger Goodell repeatedly has said the NFL initially “didn’t get it right” in giving Ray Rice a two-game suspension for domestic violence. But the NFL Commissioner expressed confidence Wednesday that the 10-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is appropriate.
“Because of the process. Because we have the facts,” Goodell said. “We had the right people involved who were able to pull all the facts together, give us the kind of information that was necessary for us to make a decision that would reflect the values and the integrity of the league but also the personal conduct policy.”
The NFLPA filed a formal appeal of Hardy’s suspension Friday. It asks the NFL to designate an independent arbitrator, and Goodell said he has not reached a decision on that request.
The league agreed to a neutral arbitrator in Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension last season, but it denied Adrian Peterson’s request for the same.
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Goodell said his staff met with Hardy twice during an extensive two-month investigation. The league determined Hardy used physical force against his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, in at least four instances and suspended him for more than half the season for “conduct detrimental to the league.”
A North Carolina judge convicted Hardy on domestic violence charges last summer, but Hardy appealed and sought a jury trial. Prosecutors, citing a financial settlement Hardy reached with Holder, dropped charges when the key witness stopped cooperating.
Hardy made $13.1 million last year with the Carolina Panthers, playing only one game before being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. He signed with the Cowboys as a free agent.
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760