National Football League files appeal of Elliott's preliminary injunction

Ruben Hill
September 14, 2017

U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III last week weighed in on Elliott's side, questioning in the fairness of the NFL's disciplinary process.

With starting running back Ezekiel Elliott available for Sunday night's season opener against the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys had a decision to make regarding the other backs on their roster. He said he was "just happy that I'll get to be with the guys for as long as permitted and not miss time and not having to be away from them". Brady served the suspension to start last season after an appeals court reversed the ruling and backed Goodell's authority to suspend him.

Elliott, much like Brady, has won an injunction on the pending suspension as the matter gets resolved in the legal system.

"Their absence. effectively deprived Elliott of any chance to have a fundamentally fair hearing".

"Just relieved from the fact that I finally get a fair trial", Elliott said after the game in his first public comments since before the Cowboys reported for training camp in July.

The average length of time for an appeal is 8.8 months, which would put things in an April time frame, thus likely allowing Elliott to play all season.

"The question before the court is merely whether Elliott received a fundamentally fair hearing before the arbitrator", Mazzant wrote.

NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart admitted in a conference call on Monday that the league's request for a stay - while standard in such cases - may not be fruitful.

"It may be hard for the National Football League to convince the 5th Circuit that this is truly an emergency", said Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane University Law School. In levying its suspension, the league said it had persuasive evidence Elliott committed violence against Tiffany Thompson on multiple occasions.

Elliott has maintained his innocence throughout and the Columbus, Ohio city prosectuor's office declined to pursue charges because of misleading and inconsistent information from Thompson. The league also said the appeal process was consistent with its personal conduct policy. The running back denied the allegations under oath during the appeal. The timeline for any resolution in court of a potential NFL appeal is not clear, but the league would probably hope for a quick ruling. In addition, they did not grant Elliott's team the opportunity to interview Goodell himself, and find out why the recommendation from lead investigator Kia Roberts was not included in the more than 160 page decision document.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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