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National Football League wins appeal, clears way for Ezekiel Elliott suspension

National Football League wins appeal, clears way for Ezekiel Elliott suspension

The NFL's six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott stemming from domestic violence allegations has been reinstated by a federal appeals court.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

According to the letter Elliott received informing him of the suspension, the National Football League believed he used "physical force" three times over five days in a Columbus, Ohio, apartment last July resulting in injuries to Thompson's face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, hips and knees. Elliott is expected to now take his case to the Southern District of NY, which is viewed as a more favorable court for the NFL.

In the wake of today's ruling, the NFLPA is expected to re-file the case with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY and could seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction which would allow Elliott to keep playing, according to Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program (H/T NFL).




In his dissenting decision, judge James E. Graves wrote he believed the district court properly and concluded the "NFL is unable to show a likelihood of success on the merits of any irreparable injury for purposes of a stay".

In the Elliott case, league attorneys wrote to the 5th Circuit that the union's lawsuit had resulted in "hopelessly doomed proceedings" that shouldn't continue.

What does this mean for Elliott? It's a labor law issue surrounding Goodell's power over player discipline and whether or not he is wielding it in a way that is consistent with the personal conduct policy and the current collective bargaining agreement. That includes whether Henderson and the league acted fairly when they didn't require NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or Elliott's accuser, Tiffany Thompson, to testify at Elliott's appeal hearing.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans granted the league's emergency request to set aside an injunction and ordered a district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott's case. 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. He may have to serve his suspension, effective immediately. The league won its Deflate-gate case against Tom Brady in that court.


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