I’ve now had a chance to review the complaint filed by the NFL in a New York federal court regarding the Ezekiel Elliott suspension. Unlike most legal documents, it took only a few minutes to read it.
The four-page filing sets forth a basic, bare-bones recitation of the key facts and summary of the authority the Commissioner possesses to suspend players for conduct “detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.” The lawsuit, which seeks confirmation of arbitrator Harold Henderson’s appeal ruling upholding Elliott’s six-game suspension, doesn’t even mention the lawsuit filed last week by Elliott in Texas.
It’s a curious omission, but it likely won’t last long. Surely, the NFL will be making a prompt effort to consolidate the two cases and, ideally for the league, get the case out of Texas and moved to New York.
The NFL objected to Elliott’s lawsuit by claiming that it was premature, since he filed it before the ruling was issued on Elliott’s appeal. The decision to file a lawsuit in New York confirms that the league believes Texas is the wrong place for the case — primarily because the league believes New York is the right place. Because the NFL knows it has a better chance of winning there.