Latest On Ezekiel Elliott

The NFL handed Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott a six-game suspension stemming from domestic violence allegations earlier this month, but the league’s director of investigations, Kia Roberts, recommended no ban for the running back, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Ezekiel Elliott (Vertical)

Roberts’ decision came after interviewing Tiffany Thompson, Elliott’s ex-girlfriend who accused him in June 2016 of committing physical violence against her on multiple occasions. Despite Roberts’ key role in the investigation, her suggestion didn’t make it into the NFL’s final report and its suspension letter, notes Hill. Further, Roberts wasn’t present during a commissioner Roger Goodell-led meeting that centered on potential disciplinary measures for Elliott, Hill adds.

Senior vice president of investigations Lisa Friel was among those in attendance with Goodell, and it was Friel who advised a six-game suspension to the commissioner, according to Hill. The fact that Goodell ultimately did hand down that penalty to Elliott left Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “furious,” in part because he expected Elliott to elude punishment. A top official with the NFL informed Jones that the league would not discipline Elliott, Hill relays.

Elliott appealed his suspension this week during a hearing that spanned three days and over 25 hours, and his side testified that Friel banned Roberts from the aforementioned meeting, Hill reports. Roberts, who was also on hand, testified Tuesday that she was the only league employee to interview Thompson, according to Dan Graziano of Roberts also confirmed that she would not have recommended discipline for Elliott had she been part of the decision-making committee – one that Hill reports consisted of former New Jersey attorney general Peter Harvey, Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Houston, chief executive of the Women of Color Network Inc. Tonya Lovelace and former U.S. attorney and ex-chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White. Friel provided testimony on Wednesday and corroborated that of Roberts, Graziano writes.

Hill contends the hearing went well for Elliott’s camp, noting that the league lacks solid proof that he abused Thompson. Both that and the NFL’s unwillingness to listen to Roberts would not bode well for the league in federal court, Hill posits. Elliott could file a lawsuit against the league if hearing officer Harold Henderson doesn’t overturn or reduce the suspension, and Graziano suggests that the NFLPA is ready to fight in court if necessary. Henderson is reportedly “under pressure” to make a decision by Monday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Latest On Ezekiel Elliott

  1. JT19

    The NFL’s disciplinary committee is probably the worst in sports. They either (1) take too long to decide on a punishment leaving the player and team in limbo for way too long, (2) quickly hand out a punishment without really getting enough information, or (3) hand out what seems like a longer than expected/necessary punishment. The final two reasons are usually done either to save face/try to boost PR or seemingly to spite certain players/teams. It won’t happen while Goodell is the comissioner, but the disciplinary committee (and investigation team/process) needs a complete tear down and rebuild.

    • akaydn

      Yep, each one of these situations is going to come back up in the next CBA negotiation as evidence that the NFL is bad at impartially handling discipline and Goodell is always going to be the figurehead of that bad reputation. Maybe that’s the master plan: make player discipline such a sticking point for the next CBA that they ‘concede’ to the players wishes in favor of keeping something else like 18 game schedules or franchise tags.

  2. sportsfan101

    If he loses a game when it’s obvious there was some sort of domestic violence “to what extent is hard to say” but bruises like that don’t just appear. Yet even in court NFL won against Brady based on suspicions? Just shows how pathetic the NFL is as a whole and Rodger goodwill is only good at one thing making money for the NFL not being a good, fair, understanding commissioner.

  3. mcase7187

    I can’t feel sorry for a person who puts them selves in a situation where they have to be considered for this kinda of incident women are a lot of things but they are punching bags

  4. ItsJustJake

    I hate the Cowboys, but I still don’t see a 6 game suspension based off of an accusation as ‘fair’. One game, perhaps 2 if there is any actual evidence, but if the police would not press charges, then he should not have to lose 1/3 of his season.

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