By Matthew Pertz, Sports Writer

Another day, another NFL domestic violence crisis; this time, with former All-Pro defensive end Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys at the focus.

Hardy’s case is one of 30 that have brought against NFL players since 2010, according to USA Today. He was found guilty by a judge and later requested a trial by jury (at which point the charges were dropped due to the fact that the plaintiff, Hardy’s ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, refused to cooperate amid an under-the-table settlement).

For over a year, Hardy’s actions and character have been defended by people in every level of football. Right after his arrest in May 2014, his coach at the time, Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers, called him “a heck of a young man”. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones described Hardy as “one of the real leaders on this team,” after Hardy berated his teammate and shoved his coach.

How can we justify calling a despicable, chronically violent offender “a heck of a young man” or a “real leader”?

For years now, observers have remarked that the NFL has a severe domestic abuse problem, but that undersells the issue. The owners, coaches, players and fans of the NFL blatantly endorse abusers on a daily basis.

These quotes are only the indicators of a deeper philosophical problem: the NFL values the revenue a player can bring to the league over the player’s well-being. That understanding applies to drugs, alcohol, beating women and any other sort of run-in with the law: as long as you’re good at football, we’ll turn our backs.

This policy of wanton ignorance is only worsening as time goes on.

Individual teams have also encouraged domestic violence by repeatedly signing players with criminal pasts. The Cowboys signed Hardy to a $13.1 million deal despite being found guilty. If teams were serious about eradicating domestic violence, they would not even consider signing an offender, much less validating him and his actions with $13.1 million.

These quotes are only the indicators of a deeper philosophical problem: the NFL values the revenue a player can bring to the league over the player’s well-being. That understanding applies to drugs, alcohol, beating women and any other sort of run-in with the law: as long as you’re good at football, we’ll turn our backs.

Individual teams have also encouraged domestic violence by repeatedly signing players with criminal pasts. The Cowboys signed Hardy to a $13.1 million deal despite being found guilty. If teams were serious about eradicating domestic violence, they would not even consider signing an offender, much less validating him and his actions with $13.1 million.

This policy of wanton ignorance is only worsening as time goes on. Last year, commissioner Roger Goodell came under fire when he suspended Ravens running back Ray Rice for just two games following domestic violence charges. The league imposed a season-long ban only after public outcry over a leaked video of Rice punching his then-fiancee.

Goodell later instituted harsher punishments for offenders, but Hardy was able to escape his 10-game punishment through an appeal process. The 6’5”, 280 lb. professional tackler was painted as a victim while the bloodied, bruised Holder was pointed to as the real perpetrator because of her promiscuity and the fact that she stopped talking to police after Hardy paid her under the table.

Because if Holder was asking for it, Hardy must be the real victim, right? Forget her bruises that covered every inch of her body after she was slammed into a bathtub and tossed onto a futon covered with guns. Forget the fact that nearly 5 million women suffer from domestic violence every year but only 34 percent of them feel safe enough to seek basic medical help. Forget that, according to the Daily Telegraph, a woman will be beaten 35 times before reporting abuse to the police. If Holder was dodging further questions, she must be guilty, right?

Wrong. There is no justification for for a man to abuse his partner (or for a woman to abuse her partner, but I’m speaking to the 95 percent of cases that are male-driven). A relationship is supposed to be a safe haven, not a a dichotomy of fear and violence.

This issue is far greater than a policy issue. This is an all-encompassing attitude of complacency that affects everyone in football, especially the women in relationships with players. If you were dating an NFL star, would you feel safe? It’s far past time for the NFL to reverse its position on domestic violence and ensure the safety of intimate partners instead of enabling abuse.