Former multi-sport pro athlete Greg Hardy, still only 34, recently revealed that he is now working at Walmart.
Hardy was an NFL defensive end who played in the league for six seasons, suiting up for the Carolina Panthers and then the Dallas Cowboys. He was subsequently a professional boxer and UFC MMA fighter.
In 2013, Hardy established a new record for the number of sacks in a single season for the Panther, earning Pro Bowl accolades. But, his career took a drastic turn for the worse after being involved in several off-the-field incidents, including a domestic violence case involving his then-girlfriend in 2014. Although he was given a second chance by the Dallas Cowboys, more issues followed and he ultimately washed out of the NFL.
Hardy then turned to mixed martial arts (MMA) where he won his first three bouts by knockout and was eventually given a shot by the UFC. However, controversy continued to surround him, and he ended his time in the Octagon with a 7-5 record (4-5 in UFC), including three knockout losses and a no-contest.
He also tried boxing and bare-knuckle boxing, with mixed results. Last November, Hardy upset boxer Hasim Rahman (then 12-1), son of the former lineal heavyweight champion with the same name, via a 4-round unanimous decision. Whether Hardy (2-0 in boxing) will continue as a part-time boxer remains to be seen as he was knocked out in a subsequent bare-knuckle boxing match this past February.
At this moment, it now appears Hardy’s only consistent, reliable gig is his regular full-time job at Walmart.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, he expressed the difficulty of adjusting to a new work schedule and described how he unexpectedly found himself signing up customers for Spectrum internet accounts and greeting visitors at Walmart.
Hardy’s fall from grace is a stark reminder of how quickly a career can crumble due to personal and professional mistakes. It also highlights the importance of making smart financial decisions and planning for the future, as Hardy reportedly earned $16 million during his time in the NFL.
And in his defense, financially, his earnings as a UFC fighter and boxer were probably peanuts compared to his NFL royalties as he was still a novice in both sports.
Overall, while it may be a sad turn of events for Hardy, it is encouraging to see him working hard and trying to turn his life around. Hopefully, he can learn from his past mistakes and use his experiences to help others avoid similar pitfalls.
The father of a girl and boy, Hardy is believed to be a supporter of the Republican Party.