Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Eyes will be on Hardy, but mikes likely not
By David Newton
Don't look for a Ray Rice moment from defensive end Greg Hardy on Wednesday when the Carolina Panthers have their first media availability for the third phase of offseason workouts.
There are no plans for Hardy, who hasn't spoken to the media since he was arrested and charged for domestic violence in a May 13 incident involving his ex-girlfriend, to make a statement or take questions.
Rice wouldn't have spoken on Friday either if it was left up to his attorney. But the Baltimore Ravens running back wanted to address the Feb. 15 incident that led to charges of aggravated assault for striking his fiancée, Janay Palmer, who now is his wife. So he spoke to the team about organizing an opportunity for him to make a statement on the incident that was captured on video from the Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
Rice, who has entered a pre-trial intervention program, didn't take questions. He merely apologized to the staff, organization and his fans with Palmer at his side.
His attorney, Michael Diamondstein, wasn't consulted and later said on a Baltimore radio station the statement "puts this matter behind him so that he can move forward, not only with his NFL career, I think it was the right choice for his family as well."
That's not likely to happen with Hardy, who didn't comment when released and hasn't since. He also hasn't asked the team to organize press availability for him.
One difference in the two cases is there is no video of the verbal and physical assault that Nicole Holder accused Hardy, Carolina's 2013 sack leader, of committing. Another is Rice and his wife initially were arrested before charges against Palmer were dismissed. Hardy was the only person charged in the incident with Holder.
Rice also married Palmer and took responsibility for what happened. Hardy's attorney claimed in court, when a $17,000 bond was ordered for his client's release, that Holder initiated the incident and his client was innocent.
So if Hardy, set to earn $13.1 million as the team's franchise tag player, came out and apologized it could be construed as an admittance of guilt.
Hardy's trial date is June 27. That will allow him to speak and put the incident behind him before the team reports to training camp on July 24.
Until then, he won't be able to publicly put his charges behind him.