Suspensions are a dime a dozen in the NFL.
Those NFL players’ miss some games that range from anything between domestic violence to failing drug tests.
But an NFL star’s recent domestic violence suspension was upheld—even after the appeals process—and he’ll play in his opener because of one weird, ridiculous rule.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot exploded onto the scene as a rookie last year.
The former Ohio State player racked up 1,631 yards with 15 touchdowns and was a contender for the NFL MVP as a first year.
What is not impressive, however, are character issues Elliot has off the field.
The Cowboys star exposed a girl’s breasts by ripping down her shirt while he was on a float during a parade.
But Elliot was suspended 6 games—and that suspension was upheld during the appeals process—because he was involved in a domestic violence dispute with his former live-in girlfriend multiple times over the course of a week.
However, a mandated and federal guideline rule allows him to play in his week one opener against the Giants on Sunday Night Football because of arbitration.
The New York Daily News reports:
“Ezekiel Elliott is eligible to play against the Giants on Sunday night despite having his six-game suspension upheld by NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson.
And now a federal judge in Texas will determine whether Elliott must begin serving his sentence in Week 2 or if the NFL’s form of justice deserves more scrutiny in court.
And it doesn’t sound as if court went too well for the NFL on Tuesday night.
League attorneys acknowledged to presiding Judge Amos Mazzant in federal court that Elliott’s suspension cannot begin this weekend because NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson had not ruled on Elliott’s appeal of Roger Goodell’s decision by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas first reported Elliott’s eligibility for Sunday night’s opener.
And then Fisher reported that Mazzant told the court that he was “very troubled” by the “fundamental unfairness” of the NFL’s approach to Elliott’s case, meaning the Cowboys back could have a strong chance at being granted the temporary restraining order he was seeking on the suspension.
Mazzant now has until 5 p.m. Friday to rule on Elliott’s request for a stay of the suspension that Goodell originally handed down on Aug. 11 after a year-long investigation, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.
And if the judge grants that stay, Elliott conceivably could play out the entire 2017 NFL season while his case makes its way through the legal system – similar to how Tom Brady originally was suspended for four games of the 2015 season but didn’t serve the sentence until 2016 following a long court battle.
The NFL Players’ Association, which is representing Elliott, blasted the league in a statement after Henderson’s ruling.”
“We are extremely disappointed with Mr. Henderson’s inability to navigate through league politics, and follow the evidence and, most importantly, his conscious (sic),” the statement read, via ESPN.
“The evidence that Mr. Elliott and his team presented on appeal clearly demonstrated that Mr. Elliott was the victim of a conspiracy orchestrated by the National Football League and its officers to keep exonerating evidence from the decision-makers, including the advisors and Roger Goodell.
The only just decision was to overturn the suspension in its entirety.”
The irony here is that the legal system didn’t dictate the suspension handed out by the NFL and it’s usually vice versa.
It seems like they know more than the police investigating at this point.