When Greg Hardy appeared on ESPN Tuesday to confusingly ramble about his lack of culpability in the alleged domestic assault of Nicole Holder, it baffled everyone. Sure, it was clear that ESPN was attempting to enter him into the Ray Rice program of image rehabilitation, especially when Adam Schefter claimed that Hardy was “a changed kind of guy” to Dan Patrick afterwards. Yet Hardy seems to have no interest in being remorseful, or even marketing himself as a good guy. He’s still openly defiant, and ESPN gave him a platform to reassert that defiance, a decision that does not sit well with the network’s own Michelle Beadle.
In the above clip from SportsNation, shared by the Big Lead, Beadle was clearly dismayed at ESPN’s decision:
“I feel dirty in that this guy has no job right now, and for some reason we’ve decided as a network that we’re going to give him the stage for his redemption tour as he basically goes out and tries to find some employment. I don’t understand why we’re doing that. If he wants to figure out a way to get his message out there — which by the way, he hasn’t said he did anything wrong, so how a man is supposed to convince anybody he’s changed and yet not admit to actually doing anything? I have no idea. But why we’re giving him the forum to go out there and tell anybody that is where I’m a little bit confused.”
Being that she was criticizing ESPN while on air for the network, she had to choose her words carefully. On Twitter, she was less measured in responding to Schefter’s debriefing with Patrick:
On some level, ESPN’s decision to interview Hardy is understandable, considering the media firestorm that surrounded him last season. But to push a narrative of reformation and redemption when the man himself isn’t cooperating isn’t journalism; it’s PR. Hopefully Beadle, who’s been a depressingly unique source of honesty from ESPN regarding violence towards women, isn’t disciplined for her comments, but it wouldn’t be a shock.