Sports makes for strange, uncomfortable and even seemingly incompatible bedfellows.
Jason Witten, meet Greg Hardy.
The Cowboys’ future Hall-of-Famer, of course, had his youth clouded by domestic violence and, accordingly, established a foundation to raise awareness and help victims. His new teammate at Valley Ranch this spring? Hardy, who missed all but one game last season and has been suspended 10 games this season for his role in a domestic violence case.
So how does Witten welcome his new teammate?
“I think more than anything I think everybody knows I’m against domestic violence,” Witten told ESPN Dallas late last week. “That’s unwavering. That’s something that I lived, my family lived. But that guy is a teammate of mine, so I think you have to look at it from that standpoint.”
It can’t be easy, but Witten’s maturity and leadership has helped him be one an annual captain and one of the best players in franchise history. Still, a man found guilty of domestic violence by a judge in North Carolina, only to have charges dropped when his former girlfriend disappeared, tests even Witten’s open arms.
“As coach Garrett says, it’s our job to invite those guys in and create a standard of how we do things. I think he’s done a great job since he’s been here,” Witten explained. “It’s not my job to decide who comes in. I’m a tight end. But I’ve been really pleased how he’s approached it and how he goes to work and what kind of teammate he’s been. The day he got suspended, the next day he’s in there working out, so I think that’s kind of the mentality he has, what kind of work ethic he has and what he’s trying to prove in Dallas. I think he’s learned a lot from what he’s gone through in the last year. He’s had a good offseason.”
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.