While stressing that he is sensitive to domestic violence victims, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended Greg Hardy’s comments earlier this week as well as his own.
“I do understand the sensitivity going on, but does anybody think that this wasn’t going to be the case when he came back for the first ball game, that it wasn’t going to be a feature point by the country?” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “So the hand writing was on the wall. Really, you say, ‘OK, why did you deal up a mess of that?’ Well, because there’s other things to think about here. I’ll be very up front: Certainly I’m trying to improve the football team, absolutely I’m trying to improve the football team.
“But I’m going to say something else. I have seen people not only improve the football team, but have a contribution to make as far as the things that happen in society. Now, nobody – nobody – knows long before the Cowboys – long before the Cowboys – I was head of – for years, over 10 years – chairman of battered women of Arkansas. I got Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson to come play free basketball games and use the ticket proceeds to go build safe houses. I’ve been in safe houses, and been a part of watching them being built and walking through them, and there are a whole bunch of people talking here who haven’t even been in a safe house. So it’s not about not being sensitive to battered women.”
Hardy, adhering to the NFL’s media access policy, met with the media this week. It served as his first availability since signing with the Cowboys in March.
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Hardy, who hasn’t played an NFL game in 14 months stemming from a May 2014 domestic violence incident in Charlotte, N.C., joked about why he loves facing Brady, who is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
“I love seeing Tom Brady. He’s cool,” Hardy said. “Have you seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game; I hope her sister comes to the game, all her friends come to the game. One of my favorite games of the year, guys.”
Hardy also made a reference to guns in explaining his approach to Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
“I hope I come out guns blazin’,” Hardy said. “I’m full of excitement and full of juice. I’m ready to go. I have what they call fresh legs.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the situation was addressed with Hardy following the defensive end’s 12-minute interview Tuesday.
But Jones earned criticism when, while at the NFL owners meetings, he made odd remarks to Sports Illustrated when asked his reaction to Hardy’s comments.
“When I saw him marry [Bundchen], Tom went up in my eyes 100 percent,” Jones told the magazine. “She’s very, very attractive, and it shows what an outstanding individual Tom is.”
Jones responded on his radio show, defending both Hardy and himself.
“They probably asked him so many questions,” Jones said. “I'll get so many questions and then I'll have five or six of them that have nothing to do with what the writer ultimately writes, and he has it put on by some colleague of his the other way. So, you never know where it's coming from. Here's the deal: Unless he looks like he's contrite, unless he looks like he's just absolutely whipped, and so really obviously sorry for what his situation is, he's going to get criticized, and we all know that. But he was in a football setting. Those people that were asking that question, those were not workplace. We know some things are out of order. We know if an attorney is talking to you or if a sales person is talking to you, and they're the opposite sex. We know some things in today's society that is behavior that we don't have today. We know that.
“But, now, I can remember when they talk about Richard Burton, and you'd say I don't know about Richard Burton, but anybody good enough to be married to Elizabeth Taylor has got to be all right. Elizabeth Taylor made her life wanting people to say she was pretty. She made her life. That was her complete life. That was the people she hired to make them when they said 'Elizabeth Taylor' to enhance people saying she was pretty and interesting. And, so, when you did talk about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, you talked about how pretty she was and Elizabeth Taylor. Nobody thought that you were being disrespectful of women or the workplace. Well, Tom just happens to be married to a lady that is just absolutely one of the premier people in the world of working and making people say she is beautiful. Do you agree with me? That's what they do. They get up in the morning and go to bed at night having people say she's beautiful. So that a lot of people when they talk about Tom Brady talk about how beautiful she is."