NFL Tries Again to Enforce Ezekiel Elliot’s Suspension Before Another Football Sunday
The NFL is attempting to quicken its appeal process of a federal judge’s injunction that reversed Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliot’s six-game domestic violence suspension. Last week, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction to stop Elliot’s suspension, holding that his labor arbitration was fundamentally unfair. The NFL then immediately appealed that ruling to the Fifth Circuit and asked Judge Mazzant for an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction. In this response, the NFL told Judge Mazzant it would quickly immediately go to the Fifth Circuit if he didn’t rule on its request for a stay by Thursday, September 14, 2017.
NFL attorneys wrote in their response “if this court declines to grant relief, respondents intent to seek a stay from the Court of Appeals and believe it is important to give the Court o of Appeals the opportunity to act promptly.” This legal tactic is unlikely to stop Elliot from playing on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. He was already allowed to play in the season opening win over the New York Giants last Sunday September 9, 2017. ‘
Elliot was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded he has several physical confrontations with his former girlfriend, violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Nonetheless, prosecutors decided not to pursue the case because of conflicting evidence. Elliot argues that his arbitration process was fundamentally unfair because his former girlfriend was not required to testify or be subject to cross-examination. Elliot and his attorneys argue that the NFL cannot meet the standard for irreparable harm because the league could still suspend Elliot if the NFL wins on appeal. Nevertheless, the league maintains that its conclusions were based on photographs and text messages. There has been no word if Judge Mazzant will rule by the end of this week.