After last week’s Ray Rice drama led to the Ravens cutting their running back and the league suspending him indefinitely, attention has shifted this week to a pair of other cases of off-field violence involving NFL players. Adrian Peterson, who was indicted and charged with injuring a child, and Greg Hardy, who was recently found guilty by a judge of assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, were both inactive in Week 2.
However, Peterson has since been reinstated by the Vikings, and it sounds like the Panthers are at least considering doing the same for Hardy. The NFL typically allows for due process, waiting until cases have fully played out before announcing disciplinary measures for players. In these cases, however, while the legal process hasn’t been completed, Peterson has admitted to causing injury to his son, while Hardy has been found guilty by a judge, if not yet a jury.
Given the increased pressure on the NFL to come down hard on off-field instances of domestic violence and abuse in the wake of the Rice incident, the league appears to be mulling intervening in the cases of both Peterson and Hardy. We heard as much regarding Hardy’s case earlier this morning, and Jason Cole of Bleacher Report says the league is taking a long look at Peterson’s case as well.
The Peterson incident, which was publicly reported more recently than Hardy’s altercation, seems to be drawing more attention around the NFL and beyond, with Minnesota governor Mark Dayton suggesting today that the Vikings should have kept the running back suspended until the accusation of abuse is resolved in the legal system. Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com and others have also pointed out that the Vikings’ call for “due process” didn’t seem to apply to less talented players previously on the roster who ran into legal troubles of their own.
What do you think? Are you fine with seeing Peterson and Hardy on the field until their cases have been closed? Or do we already know enough in both instances that their teams – or the league – would be justified in keeping them out of action for Week 3 and beyond?