Jane McManus was an early and outspoken voice on the NFL’s handling of domestic violence among their players. In the most recent case involving Greg Hardy, McManus, who has often been highly critical of the NFL’s response praises their actions in bringing experts in the domestic violence field to the table as these decisions are made. These experts can quickly note the nuances that others may overlook, e.g., the injuries on Hardy’s victim’s neck indicating ‘she had been choked’; domestic violence advocates know that strangulation is a key indicator of increased lethality risk.

McManus acknowledges there were several factors that resulted in the suspension ‘being at the high end’, including  the presence of guns and not one abusive incident, but in fact 4 different assaults. McManus notes that while the NFL has put in place strategies to help players address abusive behaviors and patterns, these are only effective if the player is receptive, ” If Hardy really believes he did nothing wrong… it will be difficult to see how therapy will be effective.” With this 10 game suspension, it’s clear a new era has dawned for the NFL, “This decision puts the NFL on notice. If you want to take a risk on somebody like Greg Hardy, go ahead, but you may not have him for ten games… and that is a significantly larger risk.”

It takes such immense talent, perseverance and dedication to become one of the elite athletes of the NFL… with this shift in the NFL’s response they’ve upped their game– players may need to add ‘law abiding’ and ‘of good character’ to the resume.