Full NFL statement on Ezekiel Elliott

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[Editor’s note: The NFL issued on Friday a statement suspending Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott six games under the Personal Conduct Policy. The full statement appears below.]

Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today by the NFL that he will be suspended without pay for the team’s first six 2017 regular-season games for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.

Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell sought the views of four external advisors (see below) to assist him in evaluating potential violations. These experts range in experience from law enforcement, judicial and public service, and other specialized subject areas.

The advisors participated in a meeting on June 26, 2017 in New York City with Elliott, who was represented by his legal team and the NFL Players Association. The group also reviewed the league’s investigative reports and materials, the expert medical reports, and multiple NFL Players Association submissions on Elliott’s behalf.

In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”

After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.

Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott’s suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys’ Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

MEMBERS OF THE EXTERNAL EXPERT ADVISORY PANEL

PETER HARVEY, Esq., former Attorney General for the State of New Jersey.

KEN HOUSTON, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who played in 14 seasons in the NFL.

TONYA LOVELACE, MA, Chief Executive Officer of The Women of Color Network, Inc.

MARY JO WHITE, Esq., former United States attorney and former Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

65 responses to “Full NFL statement on Ezekiel Elliott

  1. So, the police detectives don’t have enough evidence to bring charges, but the NFL magically finds enough to suspend him nearly half a season? This has Mara/Goodell mafia written all over it.

  2. I have to think that the evidence is pretty overwhelming for them to do this. The shield doesn’t want to suspend one of its new upcoming stars if it doesn’t have to.

  3. Josh Brown (Giants) admittedly beats wife and gets ONE game.
    Zeke Elliott (Cowboys) has no charges filed but gets SIX games.

    How does Jerry Jones allow the Mara family and Roger Goodell to get away with this blatant collusion?

  4. Because the guy settled out of court for money does not make beating a lady ok Cowboy fans. He still committed domestic violence. Obviously the NFL has pretty good evidence that does not need to be public since this is a private corporation. The NFL would not want to suspend one of its moneymaker players if not solid evidence in hand. Applaud Goodell for doing what is right.

  5. Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy…
    ======

    Please read that over and over again if you insist Zeke hasn’t done anything worthy of suspension.

  6. Did Mr. Todd Jones know about this too “Several witnesses, according to sources close to the case, had heard the woman yell at Elliott that she would “ruin his career” when she was unhappy that they would not continue their relationship”. Sounds like a money grab Ms Thompson too.

  7. Only six games for beating a woman multiple times, while natural deflation of footballs blamed on Brady gets four? That is how the NFF spells integrity.

  8. Where was this investigation and committee involvement when the NFL suspended Josh Brown for 1 game?

  9. “League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.”

    Same people claimed they had “10s of thousands” of emails and texts supporting the Saints having a bounty program and in the end there turned out to be something like a half dozen that vaguely indicated it was a possibility.

    Roger and his cronies, lying liars that lie whenever their mouths are open.

  10. Good well deserved maybe this loser will stop driving 100mph and pulling down girls tops and whatever else they found out during the investigation

  11. What a joke. Why have a judicial system? All State and Federal court rulings should indemnify you against additional reprimands by your employer. Otherwise, this continues to set a troubling standard against our civil rights if you think about it.

    Put the shoe on your foot. Someone says you’re stealing boxes outside of work, they got you on video. Your friends think you’re going to build a clubhouse with them or something. But it wasn’t you and never showed your face. Police don’t arrest you. No criminal charges… but you get fired, on your day off. Sound fair?

  12. “Elliott may appeal this decision within three days.”

    At which point Arbitrator Goodell will sit in judgement of a suspension handed out by Commissioner Goodell which will be followed by Elliott appealing to a court that will hit it with the rubber stamp of the precedent of the Brady decision. That kids is the only reason the league continued to pursue the Brady case after admitting they had no evidence.
    I am not defending Elliott by any means. I have no more idea of the evidence the league found that the prosecutor did not than anyone else does. The process of a commissioner with unbridled power to suspend sitting as arbitrator of his own decisions is incredibly flawed and bias laden not to mention offensive to the very meaning of arbitrator. When you add in that commissioner is a documented liar it taints the decision making behind every suspension no matter how justified it may or may not be.

  13. At least the race baiters can’t blame it on the white guy. Their wasn’t one on the four person MEMBERS OF THE EXTERNAL EXPERT ADVISORY PANEL. The NFL is so screwed. The media getting into everyone’s business and a self righteous social media that thinks they are experts in everything.

  14. I’m calling on all cowboy fans to fully boycott all things NFL for this season the only way to get mara and goodell is to hurt em in their wallets what a joke of a league this is

  15. The witch hunt is over, and they found nothing more than what the PD found (who dropped the case due to lack of evidence and the accuser lying about it). I am glad it is over, but it is a horribly inconsistent ruling

    Goodell is a terrible excuse of a commissioner who is able to divert blame in this case to the advisory panel. What credentials do they have in detective work is my question.

    This decision has Frankenhead Mara written all over it…

  16. Seriously, is there anyone in America who doesn’t hate Roger Goodell anymore (besides the Mara family, of course)? Imagine the draft-day boos next year! Getting my popcorn ready.

  17. I am a member of “Patriots Nation” and I am not laughing at all. After seeing how the league office lied repeatedly during deflategate, how can any of us be sure that the league has the facts to warrant this suspension? They may, and if so, this suspension is justified OR they could have had a desired outcome, and then created the facts necessary to support that outcome. This is why integrity matters.

  18. As a Pats fan I have as much reason to distrust anything the league says as the next guy (assuming the next guy is a Saints fan), but photographic evidence of multiple days of bruises is kinda telling.

  19. Those that bring up the judicial system don’t have a clue about it. How often have people been found “not guilty” on criminal charges and yet have had to pay a boatload of money on civil charges arising from the exact same infraction as the criminal charges?

    If you need to question NFL’s investigative process, that’s a different story but for what it matters, I really believe something ugly must have happened and there’s more than enough proof to force the NFL make this decision despite Jerry’s influence, Zeke’s status, lack of criminal charges, and an overall sympathetic public perception. If the NFL said they couldn’t find proof of wrongdoing, how many people would really be upset? And yet, the NFL gave Zeke the full 6 weeks even though they gave Josh Brown only one. I believe if the NFL was sure they could bury this, they would but they probably were scared that something like the Ray Rice video would resurface soon and that’s why they decided what they did, in order to avoid a second Rice fiasco.

  20. I can’t stand the Cowboys but now you know what Patriot fans dealt with.

    This is an absolute witch hunt and on the level of BS that the Brady situation was.

    You have proof the chick lied, her own friend says so, proof she was in a fight with another woman that would explain and bruises or injuries. You have the police not filing charges.

    Bit Roger and his people have better evidence. Unf’ing real.

  21. Why is there no details of what he did? Nothing? The NFL must tell us what he did. A generalization just won’t cut it. Elliot should be suing this league today.

  22. What happens if a team basically says “Screw you” and keeps the player active. He shows up on Game Day. What happens then? Let’s find out, Jerry. Just ignore the Clown Commissioner and play football.

  23. Not a fan of Roger Goodell, but the union and the PLAYERS gave him all that power to do what he wants. Then the players go and re-elect the same clown to be the head of the union that gave Roger his power.

  24. ipeefreelyagain says:
    August 11, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    What a joke. Why have a judicial system? All State and Federal court rulings should indemnify you against additional reprimands by your employer. Otherwise, this continues to set a troubling standard against our civil rights if you think about it.

    Put the shoe on your foot. Someone says you’re stealing boxes outside of work, they got you on video. Your friends think you’re going to build a clubhouse with them or something. But it wasn’t you and never showed your face. Police don’t arrest you. No criminal charges… but you get fired, on your day off. Sound fair?

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    This story sounds way too detailed to be made up. Was it you who stole the boxes and got fired?

  25. ipeefreelyagain says:
    August 11, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    What a joke. Why have a judicial system? All State and Federal court rulings should indemnify you against additional reprimands by your employer. Otherwise, this continues to set a troubling standard against our civil rights if you think about it.

    Put the shoe on your foot. Someone says you’re stealing boxes outside of work, they got you on video. Your friends think you’re going to build a clubhouse with them or something. But it wasn’t you and never showed your face. Police don’t arrest you. No criminal charges… but you get fired, on your day off. Sound fair?
    _____________________________

    I’ll bet in your head that made a lot of sense. Sadly out here in the real world…not so much

  26. After the Brady thing I have learned to look closely at the NFL’s wording. They state the following, note the word in caps…

    “League investigators EXAMINED all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.”

    Then later in their statement they say it was decided there was ‘sufficient evidence’. At first glance that sounds like there was photographic and digital evidence etc.. to support their decision but really what they looked at and what there might have been in there to support the deciscion are two different things. Plus I am troubled that the authorities didnt find as you would expect had there been digital and photographic evidence. So putting aside what they looked at, I would be very interested to see the specific evidence that led to the finding.

  27. Loving all the Cowgirl tears in this post. The dude is a scumbag who treats women like objects. The suspension is deserved and will hopefully be a wake up call before something very serious happens.

  28. For those who say the league’s decision is bogus because there were never any charges pressed, it does not matter. Apparently, the standard for the league to levy punishment is much lower than the standard to bring and prove criminal charges. Take for example, OJ Simpson, he was not convicted criminally, but he was found liable for the death(s) in a civil trial. The criminal standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, but the civil standard is greater weight of credible evidence which is lower, ie easier to prove. Same philosophy here. That the police didn’t charge him does not mean he did not violate the policy. Now, I am not saying he did or didn’t, I have no idea, but that’s why the league can punish him even if the police don’t.

  29. “How often have people been found “not guilty” on criminal charges and yet have had to pay a boatload of damages on civil charges arising from the exact same infraction as the criminal charges”

    Name one instance that you are personally aware of this happening, other than the OJ case. You can’t do it, because it actually rarely happens. Also, there is no such thing as “civil charges”. It’s called a civil case.

  30. Leave “punishment” to the police/judicial system. How many people would like to be suspended from their profession based solely on an allegation on which the police/prosecutors do not find a basis to proceed?

  31. AngryHumanoid says:
    August 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    As a Pats fan I have as much reason to distrust anything the league says as the next guy (assuming the next guy is a Saints fan), but photographic evidence of multiple days of bruises is kinda telling.
    ——————–

    If this evidence was so telling, it seems a police department could make a case out of it.

    What expertise could Ken Houston have brought to the proceedings?

    The fact that the NFL engages in these sort of extralegal shenanigans is a bit ridiculous.

  32. ipeefreelyagain says:
    August 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm
    Somewhere, Drew Brees is demanding an explanation.

    This comment was funny the first 10,000 times it was used as a response, but it’s not funny anymore. Besides, Brees should have demanded an explanation for what Goodell did to the Saints. And Kraft and Brady should have gotten an explanation and now it’s the Cowboys. Some people are smirking because Goodell’s wrath hasn’t come down on their favorite team yet. But worry not; Roger is slowly but surely working his way around the league.

  33. Wow. Only second year and already suspended? It’s going to be a long career going backward. Seriously, dude looks like a trouble maker though.

  34. When will the dummies learn, just because the DA doesn’t bring a case against you doesn’t mean your safe from your employer choosing to punish you for painting yourself, your league and yoir team in a bad light.

  35. alwaters9 says:
    August 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Only six games for beating a woman multiple times, while natural deflation of footballs blamed on Brady gets four? That is how the NFF spells integrity.

    ————————————————————————————————
    2014 – Roger Goodell pledges more transparency
    2015 – Roger Goodell’s said: “The integrity of the game is the most important thing, the integrity of the game is something we will always protect”
    2015 to 2017 – It’s now the 8th month in 2017 and Roger Goodell is still hiding the PSI report from the 2015 NFL season. That is the exact opposite of both transparency and integrity. There are videos online where anyone can watch footballs drop PSI when placed into refrigerators. The hidden PSI report would show everyone the same thing.

  36. Suspension about right…..

    I thought the ‘high water mark’ for recent suspensions was the 3-game ticket handed out to Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict for relatively minor on-field in-game misdemeanours involving other NFL players, not defenceless civilian females.

    I thought Elliott might get 8 games, so IMO; 6 is a little light, but fair enough.

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