Ezekiel Elliott files lawsuit to vacate suspension

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The race to the courthouse is over before it even started.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has filed a pre-emptive lawsuit challenging the appeal process arising from the six-game suspension imposed upon him by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The petition seeks a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas vacating the eventual ruling in the case, which would block the suspension to be imposed by the NFL, presuming that arbitrator Harold Henderson affirms all or part of the pending six-game banishment.

Elliott moved quickly to file suit because the NFL filed the first lawsuit two years ago in the Tom Brady case, rushing to federal court in Manhattan immediately after the ruling on Brady’s appeal became final. Though the league lost at the district court level, the NFL prevailed in the appeals court.

With the league likely to file a lawsuit promptly after the ruling is issued again, Elliott short-circuited the process.

The NFL undoubtedly will argue that, by not waiting for a final ruling, Elliott failed to exhaust his available remedies under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Elliott undoubtedly will argue that compliance with the internal procedures would have been futile, given the various flaws in the process.

The process was indeed flawed, in multiple ways. Elliott’s accuser never testified under oath, Commissioner Roger Goodell did not personally observe testimony from Elliott or his accuser, Tiffany Thompson. Also, Henderson refused to compel the league to make Thompson available to testify at the appeal hearing. He also declined to force the league to produce the notes of the league’s interviews with Thompson.

As a practical matter, the admission by NFL investigator Kia Roberts that she recommended no suspension of Elliott will likely get the attention of the judge to whom the case is assigned.

The first battle will entail an effort to delay any suspension until the litigation has concluded. The goal will be to get a ruling on that effort as soon as possible, so that Elliott will be able to practice next week and play in Week One, and beyond.

23 responses to “Ezekiel Elliott files lawsuit to vacate suspension

  1. Henderson doesnt have the authority and neither does the league to compell Elliot’s accuser to testify. Aside from that. How does Goodell still have his job? 1 game for Josh Brown. 6 for Elliot. The league office is a clown show.

  2. The way the league controlled the timing of Brady’s appeal outcome (delaying repeatedly) and then abruptly filed pre-emptive litigation is an overlooked piece of the NFLs cesspool approach to deflategate.

    But now the NFLPA has seen that strategy

    I think this Dallas kid has issues but I’m happy to see his team battle the league office dolts.

    cant imagine the league will do too well in EDTX !!

  3. Not a court proceeding so Zeke doesn’t have to testify or demand either he or Thompson meet with Goodell. Goodell gathered the evidence from the DA who thought he did it, the pictures, the medical examiner who said the injury match Thompson story, the texts they sent one another. Godell decides what’s credible evidence, not the NFLPA

    Zeke should choose to miss the first six games since its cowboys tradition to tank in December.

  4. Smart move by counsel. This is prevents a move by the NFL that the NFL
    made in the Brady case. In Brady the NFL chose to file a Dec action in
    a very favorable forum. This enabled the NFL to in a sense choose their
    Judges for the appeal. By doing this Elliot’s Attorneys outsmarted the NFL ‘s
    Counsel. The law is still in the NFL’s corner but this may level the playing
    field.

  5. If any of the allegations against the NFL in this suit are true…..everyone involved in this decision……INCLUDING Goodell should be let go. In fact, Goodell should be the first to go. Did he not find it strange that he never heard from the lead investigator who was the ONLY person to speak to the victim? Did he not find it at least a little strange that he wasnt given a report from this investigator? NO, he knew what she concluded and it didnt fit his predetermined punishment.

  6. the NFL should suspend him permanently until litigation is settled. Its absurd that these players can file a lawsuit, and keep playing. The courts have been weaponized by morons.

  7. cs-lewis says:
    September 1, 2017 at 8:36 am

    the NFL should suspend him permanently until litigation is settled. Its absurd that these players can file a lawsuit, and keep playing. The courts have been weaponized by morons.
    ——————————-

    The NFL needs to quit suspending players for no reason other than public image and/or Goodell’s vanity.

    They had a whole year to put the Elliott case together, and it is a complete fustercluck.

  8. cs-lewis says:
    September 1, 2017 at 8:36 am
    the NFL should suspend him permanently until litigation is settled. Its absurd that these players can file a lawsuit, and keep playing. The courts have been weaponized by morons.

    3 12 Rate This

    ————

    What’s more absurd is 345 Park Ave treating the customer like complete idiots,
    lying and framing to make sure they can grow this league oversea$.

    All about money, but lying, cheating, stealing paychecks and defaming a player (or coach) to do it?

    Illegal.

    Article 46 does not trump US law and we’re about to see that be proven in court.

    Goodell is going down.

    When there is a problem, always go the source of said problem.

  9. tylawspick6 says:
    September 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Article 46 does not trump US law and we’re about to see that be proven in court.
    —————————–

    That ship sailed with the final psigate ruling.

  10. No doubt that Elliott is right about what the NFL would do. It appears that the CBA gives full authority for Goodell to do whatever he damn well pleases. However, when looked at with a perspective towards what the Commish has traditionally done, it’s clear that the players anticipated a continuation of what the Commish had traditionally done. Since the Commish ignored the party’s actual intention and used the words literally, the only guaranteed result is that the Players are going to not agree to the Commish having any authority exept was is spelled out in minute detail. In other words, it’s likely that the NFL will miss a season or two. With the total arbitrariness of Goodell’s decisions, you know the players aren’t going to agree to continue that authority.

  11. mmack66 says:
    September 1, 2017 at 9:27 am
    tylawspick6 says:
    September 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Article 46 does not trump US law and we’re about to see that be proven in court.
    —————————–

    That ship sailed with the final psigate ruling.
    —————————————————-
    Did it? Brady didn’t go the distance in that case so we really don’t know. I for one want Elliot to go all the way with this and then maybe the NFL will no longer be above the law able to determine the outcome of games through false allegations and downright fake evidence. Of course the effort failed with the Patriots because everyone knows you don’t mess with the GOATS, Brady and Belichick.

  12. tylawspick6 says:
    September 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Article 46 does not trump US law and we’re about to see that be proven in court.
    —————-

    Then why did your QB sit out the first 4 games of last year?

  13. Reap what you sow Goodell. Now you’re inviting lawsuits into the NFL that your bosses (franchise owners) will not like due to bad publicity and players off the roster due to your ego.

    Too much drama for a good sport with rich history. What a soap opera this game has become, but as long as the money keeps rolling in, that is what all that matters to Goodell and the owners.

  14. Reap what you sow, Zeke. When players get arrested and the first response you see here is something like “Jerry Jones on Line 1”, this is the reaction you get from the League. You all like making jokes about the criminals in the NFL, but when they do something about it, you whine because the guy’s on your Fantasy team.

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