Following a much-criticized ESPN interview with former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy—who was suspended by the NFL for four games in 2015 for his part in a high-profile domestic dispute—ESPN’s own reporter Michelle Beadle doesn’t seem thrilled to be part of the network that gave Hardy a voice as he tries to find a team to sign him for the 2016 season.
“For some reason we’ve decided as a network that we’re going to give him the stage for his redemption tour,” Beadle said. Hardy denied his domestic violence charges in the ESPN interview.
“I don’t understand why we’re doing that. If he wants to figure out a way to get his message out there—which by the way, he hasn’t said he did anything wrong, so how a man is supposed to convince anybody he’s changed and yet not admit to actually doing anything? I have no idea,” said Beadle. “But why we’re giving him the forum to go out there and tell anybody, that is where I’m a little bit confused.”
Hardy was charged with communicating threats and assault on a female following an altercation with Nicole Holder in 2014, but had those charges ultimately dismissed after Holder suddenly decided not to show up for the trial. Hardy reportedly reached a civil settlement with Holder prior to the trial, which may have prompted her absence.
— NESN (@NESN) April 6, 2016
In the ESPN interview, by Adam Schefter, Hardy seems to contradict himself.
Hardy: “I’ve never put my hand on ANY women … In my whole entire life, No Sir. That’s just not how we’re raised. As you can tell, like I said again, it’s the Bible belt. It’s just something that’s, I wouldn’t even say frowned upon, just something that’s nonexistent in most southern homes.”
Schefter: “You say you did nothing wrong, you’re innocent and yet the pictures of her that surfaced would seem to suggest a woman who had some type of physical contact. How do you explain that?”
Hardy: “I will stop you there and say that I didn’t say that I didn’t do anything wrong. That situation occurred and that situation was handled but … saying that I did nothing wrong is a stretch but saying I am innocent is correct. Yes sir.”
Schefter: “Did you ever put your hands on her?”
Hardy: “No Sir … No Sir.”
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 5, 2016
Schefter then went on the Dan Patrick Show and said said he found Hardy to be, “a changed kind of guy, a guy that I think realizes he did make a mistake, could have handled things differently in regards to that incident.”