Thanks to a federal judge, NFL will be able to enforce a six-game suspension over Dallas Cowboys’ starting running back Ezekiel Elliott. US District Judge Katherine Polk Failla denied the request for a preliminary injunction from the NFLPA’s attorneys that are representing Elliott in the case. However, Failla did put the ruling on hold for 24 hours, so that Zeke’s legal team prepares for the next step which is an appeal.
This is the second time Elliott’s suspension has been reinstated, whereas earlier in October, a federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of NFLPA’s lawsuit by throwing out a Texas court’s injunction. The league briefly enforced the suspension, but the judge who replaced Failla in the Southern District of New York issued a temporary restraining order which allowed star RB to play.
If the suspension is successfully enforced, Elliott will not play on Sunday against Kansas City Chiefs, but he will return against Oakland Raiders on December 17. On Monday, Zeke spent two hours in a New York hearing, which was just one day after his amazing game against the Washington Redskins when he recorded 150 yards and two TDs.
The suspension was initially enforced in August after NFL’s investigation that lasted for a year. It is said that Elliott had physical confrontations with Tiffany Thompson, his former girlfriend in 2016, and even though Ohio, Columbus prosecutors decided not to charge Elliott due to conflicting evidence, the league continued the investigation.
According to the NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, the commissioner Goodell’s process to determine the punishment against Zeke was “fundamentally unfair” because it had already been concluded by an investigator that Thompson wasn’t a credible witness. The doubts “were kept from the union, the Cowboys, the player and, we believe, Mr. Goodell,” Kessler argued.
Ezekiel Elliott is suspended six games. NFL wins again. pic.twitter.com/0Xxe9dwcF2
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 31, 2017
The judge asked NFL attorney Paul Clement once during the whole process: “Why it was OK that the commissioner was not told that (the investigator) had concerns?” He explained that Goodell knew that the accuser was a flawed witness, but that he made a decision based on the photos which show Thompson’s bruised body. Despite the fact that criminal authorities didn’t bring charges to the case, the NFL must combat domestic abuse because it is under its labor agreement.
“There’s a concern on the behalf of the league that its players are held to a higher standard,” Clement said. We are waiting for Elliott’s legal team to make the next move. Stay tuned.