Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Appeals court rules against Elliott, clears way for suspension

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott
Kristopher Love | 13 October, 2017, 00:37

In what could be a major blow to the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott, the team's star running back, had his six-game suspension reinstated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

On September 9, U.S. District Court judge Amos Mazzant granted the NFL Players Association's preliminary injunction request on the behalf of Elliott.

Instead, he could begin serving his six-game suspension stemming from domestic violence allegations his ex-girlfriend made against him in 2016. One of Elliott's representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Elliott played the first five games while the case was in the courts.

The NFL, maintaining that it adhered properly to the sport's disciplinary procedures, quickly sought the intervention of the New Orleans-based appeals court.

The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas ruled in September that the National Football League did not give Elliott a fair hearing for his suspension even before arbitrator Harold Henderson's final ruling, thus granting him a preliminary injuction and allowing him to play.

The NFL filed in the NY court because it is the home of league headquarters and was the site of Elliott's appeal hearing with Henderson. In that scenario, you're thrown back to square one and the only place this could be heard now is in the southern district of NY, which is the court that Zeke and Elliott's people definitely wanted to avoid.

What does this mean for Elliott? The 5th Circuit decision says that Elliott and the NFLPA filed their lawsuit prematurely, and without exhausting the process outlined in the league's collective bargaining agreement, when they didn't wait for arbitrator Harold Henderson's decision on the appeal.

Elliott's lawyers point to appeals hearing testimony from Roberts that notes her lack of support for a suspension because she questioned Thompson's credibility. In the most prominent, the Tom Brady "Deflategate" case, Brady secured an injunction, allowing him to play the entire 2015 season.