No shock here: Richardson supporting Goodell

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 15, 2014

CHARLOTTE — With a simple tweet at 11:34 a.m. Sunday, the Carolina Panthers announced defensive end Greg Hardy was inactive for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
The Panthers’ franchise defensive end was not at practice for a meeting with attorney Chris Fialko. The topic of the meeting was not made public. What is public is that Hardy was convicted in July of domestic violence and is awaiting a jury trial after appealing the ruling.
The move to sit Hardy came just two days after the team announced he was slated to start Sunday’s matchup.
For obvious reasons, it was the right move.
Under no circumstance is domestic violence acceptable. It is a deplorable act that deserves the harshest penalty, and those who commit it deserve to be thrust down to the darkest regions of hell. Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” says those who commit violence against people and property go to the seventh circle.
The move to make Hardy inactive also came just hours after Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is reaching out to NFL owners soliciting signatures on a letter of support for embattled commissioner Roger Goodell.
This move by Richardson should be no surprise to anyone.
Goodell was an NFL executive when Richardson made his push for a pro football franchise in the Carolinas. Richardson was on the committee that named Goodell as the league’s commissioner.
Goodell was set to attend an Echo Foundation event in Charlotte on Wednesday honoring Richardson with the Echo Award Against Indifference. The appearance was canceled in the wake of an Associated Press report saying law enforcement officials sent the tape of former Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then fiancée in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
At the event, Richardson shed tears as he talked about the issue of domestic violence.
“When it comes to domestic violence, my stance is not one of indifference,” he said that night. “I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple. To those that would suggest we have been too slow to act, I ask that you consider not to be too quick to judge.
“Over the course of our 20 years, we have worked extremely hard to build an organization of integrity and earn the trust of our community. I work hard to continue to earn the trust, and I thank you for this award.”
Just like there are “players’ coaches” in professional football, there are “league owners.” Richardson is a league guy. He was among a group of hard-as-nails hardliners three years ago when the league negotiated with the players for the new collective bargaining agreement three years ago.
That was his attitude despite the team, according to the sports website Deadspin, making a $112 million profit in fiscal years ending in March 2011 and March 2012.
So, while he gave a passionate speech about having zero tolerance for domestic violence, it’s also no wonder Richardson is spear-heading the search for a public show of support of a commissioner who isn’t in the good graces of the public right now.

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