Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson talked emotionally about domestic violence in the wake of the Ray Rice suspension. “When it comes to domestic violence, my stance is not one of indifference. I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple,” Richardson said from the podium where he was accepting an Echo Award Against Indifference. A tearful Richardson asked that people not be too swift to judge.
Richardson was not addressing the Ray Rice issue directly, but rather an issue closer to home. Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has been accused of assaulting his girlfriend and has a November 17 court date. The Panthers have elected not to penalize Hardy until the legal system has made its decision, a lack of action that has brought criticism. That criticsm has only increased since the Ray Rice situation became national news. Jerry Richardson is not just a businessman who has never been in the locker room, who doesn’t know the culture of the NFL. He played for the 1959 NFL Champion Baltimore Colts.