Legal Battle Between the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott Continues
The court battle between the NFL and the NFLPA over Dallas Cowboy running back, Ezekiel Elliott’s, six-game domestic violence suspension continues when the League appealed the preliminary injunction that was awarded to Elliott on Friday, September 8, 2017. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued the preliminary injunction which would not let the NFL enforce Elliott’s suspension until the case went through the court system. Mazzant wrote, “based upon the preliminary injunction standard, the Court finds, that Elliott did not receive a fundamentally fair hearing, necessitating the Court to grant the request for preliminary injunction.” Of course the injunction came in time for Football Sunday where the Dallas Cowboys faced the New York Giants, and the Cowboys came out with the win.
There would be huge consequences if the Fifth Circuit, where the appeal was filed, does overturn Mazzant’s injunction. If the injunction is overturned, then Elliott’s suspension would likely be reinstated immediately and he’d be ineligible to play. However, the circuit court moves slowly and if the fifth circuit rules after the Cowboys’ season was already over, then Elliott would possibly start serving his suspension in 2018. Because of how slow the court moves, the NFL has also asked Mazzant for an emergency stay of his decision. If that is granted, and Mazzant overturned the injunction, then Elliott would likely begin his suspension instantly.
As for Elliott he does not seem to worried about the possible appeal. After the Cowboys’ win over the Giants, Elliott said “I mean it is what it is. I’ve kind of stopped worrying about it, because it’s really not in my hands at this point. I’m just really focused right now on being the running back I need to be so this team can be successful, so we can accomplish what we want to.”
Elliott was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in August after the League concluded that he had several physical confrontations last summer with his former girlfriend. However, prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio decided about a year ago not to pursue the case citing conflicting evidence. The NFL investigated and based its decision on photographs, text messages, and other electronic evidence. The League maintains that it acted within the limits of a labor agreement that gives Goodell the broad discretion to suspend players.