After previously backing Dallas Cowboys star Greg Hardy who was convicted of domestic abuse, Stephen A. Smith wondered aloud on ESPN Sunday why the defensive end is even still in the NFL after seeing graphic images of his ex-girlfriend's alleged abuse.
Smith said Sunday that Hardy "doesn't deserve to be on an NFL roster" and called for the Cowboys to immediately cut their player.
"I don't want to be a hypocrite here because — again — we live in a very visual society, and I'm a victim of that from the perspective of when I saw those photos for the first time Friday, I said, 'My God, why is this guy in the NFL?'" Smith said. "Whereas before, when they initially signed him, I'm thinking all the domestic violence issues that the league has dealt with, this guy didn't play last season, the guy got suspended for 10 games, he appealed, he got it knocked down to four games."
"You know that somebody's going to take him, so what's wrong with Jerry Jones taking him? That was my mindset," Smith said.
Criticism of Hardy has escalated just a few days after he had a guilty verdict in his bench trial expunged, according to SportsDay. Photos recently surfaced that show his former girlfriend's extensive injuries to her arms, chin, back, foot, legs and neck that she sustained during an alleged altercation with Hardy in 2014.
SportsDay reported that the NFL had access to these chilling photos and more before they suspended Hardy in April. However, Cowboys officials reportedly were not allowed to access the photos before they signed Hardy on March 18.
Smith isn't the only voice to actively condemn Hardy or call for his firing.
"As a league, the NFL has to decide what moral stand it wants to take. And as a team, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have to live with their decisions," Fox Sports' Charissa Thompson said. "But for this week, I want all of us as media and fans to think about how we react to this news. Too often people are waiting for those videos or photos before they have a reaction, and too often, the reports from the victims even when proven true are not enough. Terrible things happen and there won't always be photos or videos to confirm it."