Greg Hardy sidelined indefinitely by Carolina Panthers following conviction in July of assault on a female and communicating threats

Hardy requested a jury trial which will begin in November and has joined Adrian Peterson on the Commissioner Exempt list

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The Independent Online

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has become the latest NFL player to be sidelined indefinitely by his team due to off-field legal issues.

Hardy was convicted in July on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats. He will appeal the decision and requested a jury trial, which is scheduled to begin on November 17.

He has been placed on the Commissioner Exempt list, the same stance the Minnesota Vikings took with star running back Adrian Peterson on Wednesday after he was indicted on a count of reckless or negligent injury to a child after he reportedly used a tree branch to discipline his son.

A statement on the Panthers' official website read: "Following discussions that involved Greg Hardy and his representatives, the NFL, NFL Players Association, and Carolina Panthers, Hardy has decided to take a voluntary leave with pay until his legal proceedings are resolved. He will be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list for roster purposes."

 

The team's general manager Dave Gettleman said: "We understand Greg's decision and given the circumstances, it is very important he concentrates on his legal issues. We believe that this is the right course of action at this time."

Hardy, who is on a one-year contract worth 13.1million US dollars (£8m) under the franchise player tag, played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week one of the season but was left out by head coach Ron Rivera for last Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

Hardy said: "I understand that I need to step away from football right now and take care of this legal matter. I am entitled to due process and my day in court, and that's where my focus should be.

"I appreciate the Panthers for giving me this opportunity and look forward to being back with my team-mates as soon as possible. I am disappointed to leave my team-mates and the Carolina Panthers organization during our season.

"My decision to take a leave of absence allows me to focus on my family until the legal process has run its course."

Adrian-Peterson.jpg
Adrian Peterson is said to have disciplined his son with a tree branch

The Hardy and Peterson come hot on the heels of the controversy surrounding Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL and cut by the Baltimore Ravens after video footage emerged of him punching his wife in a casino elevator.

PA

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