Henderson refuses to require Tiffany Thompson’s presence at Elliott appeal hearing

AP

With the appeal hearing in Ezekiel Elliott‘s case coming on Tuesday, arbitrator Harold Henderson has issued key rulings regarding the contours of the process.

Per a league source, Henderson has denied a request from Elliott’s representatives to make his accuser, Tiffany Thompson, available to testify. Henderson also has denied requests for notes or transcripts of meetings with Thompson.

Instead, Henderson has required only that Kia Roberts, who was involved in the investigation on the league’s behalf, be available to testify.

And so Elliott will have had no chance to question the key witness in the case, she will have never been placed under oath, and her credibility will have never been tested by either of the people making the key decisions in the case — Henderson now or Commissioner Roger Goodell previously.

None of this excuses domestic violence. But if the NFL is going to have its own in-house justice system aimed at investigating and prosecuting domestic violence, the NFL must have reasonable safeguards in place to ensure that the player has a fair opportunity to defend himself against these charges. Absent those protection, a very real risk of players facing false charges will emerge.

101 responses to “Henderson refuses to require Tiffany Thompson’s presence at Elliott appeal hearing

  1. Why bother wasting time questioning someone when the league doesn’t care what she has to say? They’ve made their decision and Henderson is there to sign off on it, not actually to listen to both sides and make a neutral, unbiased judgment.

  2. The fix is already in. It only took half a dozen offenses to get one hearing? Most people get slammed every time. But Godell always plays favorites.

  3. Even if Henderson wanted Tiffany Thompson at the hearing, what power would he have to compel her appearance, aside from telling the NFL “you must have her at the hearing or you lose,” which seems unfair, since the NFL can’t force her to go either.

  4. This doesn’t sound like due process for Zeke. They are setting this up for an appeal to a real court. He may not miss any games this year.

  5. When Brady was suspended for Deflate-gate lots of people laughed and cheered, but I was worried. Deflate-gate was a witch hunt with a predetermined outcome, and it was only a matter of time before something similarly asinine happened to another team, and one day probably my team. Now all the Cowboy fans who were laughing at the Pats see why they were so upset. When the outcome is determined, the league just looks for whatever snippet it can find to justify its outcome, says it’s “more probable than not” or some similar BS, and then suspends wildly. It happened to New England, it’s happening to Dallas, and it could happen to anyone next.

  6. Won’t these rulings and the absence of Goodell putting the accuser under oath, give Elliott a reasonable legal argument in court that the process is unfair and contrary to the rules of natural justice?

  7. This is the NFLs version of what the NBA calls a “make up call”.

    They blew it on ray rice, and they’re making up for it with Zeke.

  8. Which proves the NFL is full of crap. How can there be due process and fairness without cross-examining the accuser or claimant? That language has got to be written someplace in the CBA under the appeals section for player discipline or else someone in the NFLPA is severely incompetent.

  9. As a Patriots fan, I can’t stand Goodell. But Zeke can try and sue all he wants, he’ll find out exactly what Brady found out. Under the CBA, Goodell has the power to suspend him. That’s all he can fight in court. It’s up to this joke that is the NFLPA to get better language in the next CBA. But they’ve shown they’re unwilling to miss paychecks to do so.

  10. canetic says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:46 am
    This doesn’t sound like due process for Zeke. They are setting this up for an appeal to a real court. He may not miss any games this year.

    ———————————————————————————————

    Goodell could then place him on the commission exempt list under the CBA Rules. He could miss many more games this season if he went down that road. The NFL is simply Judge and Jury and in this case I can’t say it’s helping the league in the eyes of the fans.

  11. I smell an injunction which will allow him to play until this thing is settled in court. I would also sue her for defamation if he is as innocent as he says he is….

  12. Tiffany Thompson is no longer the only accuser. The NFL and Ms. Roberts are going to find out what I mean by that once Zeke sues them for 100 million in a character defamation suit. Lost endorsements resulting from the gross misconduct of the NFL in this matter could EASILY reach said dollar amount for a young star like Zeke.

  13. “If I am Elliott, I sue the living daylights out of the NFL for defamation”

    Uhhh. the NFL is proceeding. currently, precisely under the procedure granted them by the players under the CBA. Unless the CBA is tossed out by the courts, he currently has nothing to sue over. Additionally, defamation suits are very hard to prove in court. Intent must be shown beyond reasonable doubt.

  14. As a Cowboys fan I am dissapointed in Elliots behavior. He needs to be smarter. If he is guilty of this I say the suspension is too short. Problem is with everything that is known, I’m not sure he did it. Granted I could be bias. That’s what an impartial investigation is about. This charade the league is putting forth is in no way impartial.

  15. And for all the lemmings rushing to the defense of the NFL … Not being able to face your accuser egregiously violates the 6th amendment. Which is why legislating this accusation (which is a federal crime not a workplace wrong doing) outside the confines of the normal court of law is utterly ridiculous and not justifiable.

    Fade out .,.. blinders back on

  16. Ross Flowers says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Won’t these rulings and the absence of Goodell putting the accuser under oath, give Elliott a reasonable legal argument in court that the process is unfair and contrary to the rules of natural justice?

    ——————————————————————————

    No. The players have signed away many of their rights to legal protections from their employer. Blame the NFLPA for this as much as the NFL in CBA-11. They gave them vague powers and the NFL can use them when they want.

  17. flexx91 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Which proves the NFL is full of crap. How can there be due process and fairness without cross-examining the accuser or claimant?
    ————————–

    Didn’t you learn anything from psigate? None of that matters to the NFL. The only thing they want you to do at an appeal hearing is bow down and be contrite. If you do a good job, they may knock a couple of games off your suspension.

  18. 2since96 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:50 am
    This is the NFLs version of what the NBA calls a “make up call”.

    They blew it on ray rice, and they’re making up for it with Zeke.
    =========================
    Oh, ok. Nevermind. (rolleyes)

  19. vikesfan320 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:43 am
    Why bother wasting time questioning someone when the league doesn’t care what she has to say? They’ve made their decision and Henderson is there to sign off on it, not actually to listen to both sides and make a neutral, unbiased judgment.

    30 8 Rate This

    ———–

    Image.

    This is all about money and image.

    And, ego, arrogance and corruption.

    Pats fans have been trying to explain how and why Goodell chooses to brazenly
    cheat teams and players for a decade.

    Fact: The Pats have never cheated or done what Goodell or the media has been instructed to say.

    And, Elliott is clearly innocent. The NFL is framing him off a framejob by his psycho ex-gf.

    I have never seen a better chance to sue for defamation to and to get Goodell himself on a federal stand with his emails and phone on trial.

  20. The headline is written as though Henderson has the option. I rather surmise he does not. Elliott is trying to bring accelerant to his dumpster fire. NFL not cooperating with Elliott’s/NFLPA’s demand. She cannot be compelled as she is not subject as a third party to CB rules.

    It will stay at six games. Elliot and NFLPA have nothing to blunt.

  21. drakost says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:59 am
    As a Cowboys fan I am dissapointed in Elliots behavior. He needs to be smarter. If he is guilty of this I say the suspension is too short. Problem is with everything that is known, I’m not sure he did it. Granted I could be bias. That’s what an impartial investigation is about. This charade the league is putting forth is in no way impartial.

    1 1 Rate This

    —————

    Correct, but that’s a very far cry from publicly saying an NFL player committed domestic violence and stealing paychecks from him.

  22. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:55 am
    I was unaware the league had subpoena power and could compel Ms Thompsons to appear.
    No one who followed deflategate should be surprised by any of this.
    =====================
    Technically they can’t compel Eliot either. Generally speaking it usually works against somebody to not appear in front of an arbiter. The fact Thompson won’t show up speaks volumes about what’s about to happen.

  23. Ross Flowers says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Won’t these rulings and the absence of Goodell putting the accuser under oath, give Elliott a reasonable legal argument in court that the process is unfair and contrary to the rules of natural justice?

    ——————————————————————————

    No. The players have signed away many of their rights to legal protections from their employer. Blame the NFLPA for this as much as the NFL in CBA-11. They gave them vague powers and the NFL can use them when they want.

    0 0 Rate This

    —————

    100% false.

    For the 1 billionth time, Article 46 has been in the CBA since 1969 when it was created and the AFL and NFL merged.

    Rozelle and Tagliabue’s lawyers never once used Article 46 to cheat a team or player. Not once.

    The canned rhetoric coming from 345 Park Ave is just that…Canned rhetoric, which means outright lying.

  24. And what if she doesn’t want to testify? She’s not legally required to do so just because Elliot wants her to.

    The federal circuit courts are split as to whether the FAA authorizes an arbitrator to compel third-parties to respond to discovery requests. There’s no legal recourse.

    So imagine the league approves the request and she refuses to come. There’s nothing to legally compel her to do it, and why should she, since she’s not getting real justice in the court of law?

  25. Didn’t you learn anything from psigate? None of that matters to the NFL. The only thing they want you to do at an appeal hearing is bow down and be contrite. If you do a good job, they may knock a couple of games off your suspension.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    I didn’t have to learn from psigate. I learned well before that by being a Saints fan….

  26. flexx91 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:56 am
    I smell an injunction which will allow him to play until this thing is settled in court. I would also sue her for defamation if he is as innocent as he says he is….
    =============
    Right, After all Brady was guilty because he didn’t bring it to the SCOTUS. Right?

  27. Non-story. Absolutely no way on earth she’d attend such a hearing anyways – zero legal requirement to do so, and how could she possibly benefit in any way from it? Nothing to gain, everything to lose. Unless of course they were to PAY her to attend, but you can’t possibly do that and expect any kind of honest testimony – not that she’d provide any anyways.

  28. elheffeblog says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    No. The players have signed away many of their rights to legal protections from their employer. Blame the NFLPA for this as much as the NFL in CBA-11. They gave them vague powers and the NFL can use them when they want.
    ==========================
    I love this argument … don’t blame the person that pulls the trigger it’s the manufacturer that did the most damage.

    Who exactly has the finger on the trigger? Goodell or the NFLPA?

  29. lifelongbrownsfan says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    And what if she doesn’t want to testify? She’s not legally required to do so just because Elliot wants her to.

    The federal circuit courts are split as to whether the FAA authorizes an arbitrator to compel third-parties to respond to discovery requests. There’s no legal recourse.

    So imagine the league approves the request and she refuses to come. There’s nothing to legally compel her to do it, and why should she, since she’s not getting real justice in the court of law?

    0 0 Rate This

    If I am Elliott, I don’t care if she wants to testify or not. I would be suing her and the NFL.

    Get it?

    You, like the NFL seem to think the NFL somehow trumps US law. It doesn’t.

  30. So they ask her to come, she most likely would say ‘no’. She’d be a fool to show up. Then everyone says he didn’t get a fair shake and the NFL is forced to reduce the penalty.

    No lawyer in his right mind would let her talk to the NFL. If she is telling truth, she is being victimized again and if she’s lying, she’s going to slip up as it’s hard to remember lies. Lose/lose for her.

    All parents should teach their kids to say these 3 things:

    1: Am I free to go? If yes, then leave. If no the #2
    2: I want a parent (If under 18)
    3: I want a Lawyer

    As a retired cop, it still amazes me that most people love to talk. As a parent, I trust no one during the process. No offense to good people, victims, probable cause etc but due process means you speak under oath with preparation and not before.

  31. save your due process for the courts, this isn’t a court hearing it’s the nfl deciding if he broke their personal conduct policy. He did. get over it and move on.

  32. tylawspick6 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:44 am
    Rigged. Told ya.

    If I am Elliott, I sue the living daylights out of the NFL for defamation.

    ______________________________

    Defamation is difficult to prove, even without a history of abuse (of any sort) toward women. Elliott has too much baggage to be successful.

  33. The NFL is a joke. In a case like this, he doesn’t care about the other side of the story ? WOW ! Zeke is getting totally railroaded. Considering Henderson is not allowing other evidence in the case means, this is not a true arbitrator, which could be problematic in the real legal system. This case is going to be headed to the courts. They can prove the NFL’s appeal process is a total sham.

  34. bullcharger says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    If you were Thompson, why would you ever show up to a kangaroo court appeal? She would have no obligation at all.

    0 0 Rate This

    ————-

    Um, she lied and is helping frame Elliott to help try to ruin his life. I am pretty guilty people want to be nowhere near a court room.

    Have you read the affadvit that is public record?

    Anyone with even a high school diploma who has read that knows Elliott is innocent and she is a psycho who is scorned seeking revenge. She also got into a cat fight with another girl the very week she claims she was abused.

  35. NFL is about to get sued…as it should. Dangerous to be found guilty of something in which there is standard of proof. NFL should mirror courts. Innocent until proven guilty by a jury of your peers.

  36. Easy answer is players not put themselves in positions where they become targets or situations where their integrity is questioned. Remove that and the need for any of this goes away. They’ve made it to the NFL and the big bucks. Man-up, pick you friends wisely, and quit trying to be a kid or act immature and you don’t have to face the NFL jury or anyone else.

  37. Why have due process in a court-proceeding when you can have your own kangaroo court? They aren’t even allowing TRANSCRIPTS of the accusers testimony? What a charade!

    Let the justice system do its thing, let sponsors decide for themselves on who/where they want to tag their brand & let citizens vote with their feet & their voices be heard.

    NFL is getting way too pc & political. Do what you are good at & put the focus back on football!!!!!!

    We want a new leader WHO FOCUSES ON SPORTS!

  38. flexx91 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:53 am
    Which proves the NFL is full of crap. How can there be due process and fairness without cross-examining the accuser or claimant?
    _______________

    Due process has nothing to do with what is going on here. This appeal hearing is being convened to determine whether the duration of the suspension was justified or capricious, the supposed ‘facts in evidence’ will have no bearing on it. From PFT one week ago:

    “The league office tells PFT that the Commissioner’s decision will be reviewed under the “arbitrary and capricious” standard, which means that it would be overturned only if deemed to be (duh) arbitrary and/or capricious. This implies that the question will simply be whether the Commissioner got it sufficiently wrong that it seems random and without rhyme or reason.”

  39. This is just wrong, I understand just like the article says tbat domestic violence is never okay. But the NFL needs to here all the evidence from both sides, especially in a case that can ruin somebody’s reputation and possibly career. Both sides deserve to have everything laid out on the table in this investigation. They need to find out who is telling the truth and who isn’t. At the end of the day someone is going to look horrible in the end and the NFL needs to get it right. People who commit domestic violence and harm a woman deserve to go to jail and get suspended. If a person is caught lying and doing all of this to ruin somebodies reputation or career or for money they should also face charges and go to jail as well. This honestly just seems like the NFL doesn’t care about anything but making an example out of zeke, but really it makes them look like they still have no clue what there doing. And let’s be real Harold Henderson gets payed by the NFL for these appeal investigations so hes mever going to make them look too bad to where hes going to lose work for overturning to many cases. I know they say he doesn’t actually work for them but they pay him as a 3rd party to do the majority of these appeals which seems a little fishy as well. Would you make the company tbat your employer did 3rd party work for look incompetent on a national level such as this case ? He might reduce some suspensions here and there but he still works for them whether he’s an actual NFL employee or not.

  40. tylawspick6 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 11:44 am
    Rigged. Told ya.

    If I am Elliott, I sue the living daylights out of the NFL for defamation.

    ______________________________

    Defamation is difficult to prove, even without a history of abuse (of any sort) toward women. Elliott has too much baggage to be successful.

    0 0 Rate This

    ————–

    Well, according to the affadavit, it wouldn’t be difficult to prove at all. At a party, NUMEROUS witnesses said she wanted to ruin his life after being un-invited to said party. She also got into a fight with another girl that week. None of the wounds look like a man attacking a woman, either. The bruise on her thigh is from what, Elliott punching her thigh? What guy would punch a girl’s thigh? Possible, but very unlikely.

    Now we have the NFL patently ignoring, intentionally, the local authorities assessment of the alleged incident, stealing money from Elliott. You can’t just frame someone in our society and steal their money, acting like it is legal to do so.

    How is that hard to prove? I can only imagine what is on the NFL lawyer’s computers and phones along with Goodell.

    Just like with Brady, it would have been VERY easy to prove because of all the communication necessary to execute these framejobs.

    Put it this way: The emails the Pats released between them and Park Ave on the Pats Counter Report in Context to the Wells Report, would only be the tip of the iceberg in the a Brady suit or in this case here.

    These are all arranged framejobs that take months and months to ocrhestrate, which means there has to be documented communication back and forth, and we’ve seen how arrogant and sloppy 345 PArk Ave is. The Wells Report is so sloppy, the inconsistencies are comical to the point they don’t match the NFL’s own premise, which is why they had to lie and leak to the public to gain support.

    The only team or players guilty have been the Saints I(audio evidence/they admitted to it/punishment was insane), Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Hardy. The Big Ben case is questionable, but since the bar destroyed the security tape AND Ben had an off duty state trooper blocking the bathroom, neither is a good look for Ben there. He’s likely guilty and paid off the victim.

    So, in summary, Goodell lets PacMan Jones, Vick and Hardy back into the league, tried like hell to protect Rsy Ricre and the Ravens, yetframes innocent people due to certain owners telling him to do it.

    This wouldn’t be hard to prove at all, especially with 3 different federal judges calling Goodell a liar already.

  41. I get what what everybody is saying about Henderson not having the authority or jurisdiction to have that woman testify, it makes sense. What’s missing in the “outrage” here is the fact they are refusing to provide Elliott’s camp with notes on the meetings she had with investigators. That is the big issue I see with this.

  42. Are people really this dumb with all the due process crap? This is a collectively bargained procedure, not a courtroom, and there is no subpoena power compelling her testify. Folks can bitch about Goodell and the NFL all they want, but in the next breath had best admit that the NFLPA and the players are getting the exact process that they agreed to. The author is inflaming folks a bit by not stressing these facts.

  43. charger383 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    National in your name does not give you the power of Courts and Police
    ————————-

    Then how are they able to put together a credible investigation?

    Oh yeah, they don’t.

  44. xavier179 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    How does this supposed impartial arbiter keep his high paying job?
    —————-

    Yes sir, Mr. Goodell sir.

  45. purpleguy says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    Are people really this dumb with all the due process crap? This is a collectively bargained procedure, not a courtroom, and there is no subpoena power compelling her testify. Folks can bitch about Goodell and the NFL all they want, but in the next breath had best admit that the NFLPA and the players are getting the exact process that they agreed to. The author is inflaming folks a bit by not stressing these facts.

    1 0 Rate This

    ————-

    She testified for the NFL already. So, why is it that she can do that then but not for Henderson to see for himself how the NFL came to its conclusion?

    Care to answer that?

    Why the 2 orders?

    Colonel?

  46. Get over deflategate Patriot fan. You all look shrill and petty continuing to bitch and moan about it. Brady got nailed, game over. Take the high road for once.

    Aren’t all the championships good enough?

  47. Kudos to backintheday99 for advice on responding to requests for legal testimony.
    The response “Am I free to go?” captures the essence of our constitutional rights.

  48. REPLY TO pensfan1 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    Easy answer is players not put themselves in positions where they become targets or situations where their integrity is questioned. Remove that and the need for any of this goes away. They’ve made it to the NFL and the big bucks. Man-up, pick you friends wisely, and quit trying to be a kid or act immature and you don’t have to face the NFL jury or anyone else.
    ————————
    Problem is, that is easier said than done. you have any gf who doesn’t want you to break up with her and she alleges DV and you are screwed. That’s the scary part here with no standard of proof. If the NFL can decide in a he said she said case that they believe the other person with no proof as well as proof that person lied in part of the process, it only takes one more time for your career to be taken away from you even if you did nothing wrong either time.

  49. Just like McNally and Jastremski, the NFL doesn’t want to bring anyone pertinent in and put them under oath.

    The modus operandi of the NFL is lies and secrecy, which is why they fought to keep the Brady appeal hearing testimony sealed.

  50. Per a league source, Henderson has denied a request from Elliott’s representatives to make his accuser, Tiffany Thompson, available to testify. Henderson also has denied requests for notes or transcripts of meetings with Thompson.
    —–
    And the fix has just been officially announced. Having the accuser at the appeal was a stretch. The NFL’s kangaroo court can’t compell non employees to participate in their nonsense. The second part is just ridiculous though. Why can’t Elliot’s Reps het notes and transcripts of her testimony especially since a good portion was used to justify his punishment? If the league is that certain that they’re in the right then what the heck are they hiding?

  51. So Elliot wants Tiffany Thompson to testify under oath. Is he willing to testify under oath like Tom Brady did? First of all the NFL has no right to force Thompson to testify. If Elliot is innocent in this matter he should sue the NFL and Tiffany Thompson for defamation. I guess it’s time to put up or shut up….. I hope if he is innocent in this matter that he prevails and if he isn’t he’s getting off easy because he doesn’t seem to be heading to prison……

  52. This is absolutely an intentional ploy by Goodell for purposes of CBA negotiations. Make such arbitrary and capricious decisions that it becomes a point of contention in the CBA talks. Watch. He’s trying to create leverage and distract from other, more important issues to the owners (extra games, bigger split of the pie, etc.).

  53. Henderson also has denied requests for notes or transcripts of meetings with Thompson.
    ————————
    This isn’t protecting a witness but an outright attempt to bury evidence. What good is it to cross examine an investigator when the key evidence is under lock?

  54. It’s not a framejob. It’s a PR move. The NFL needs to paint the picture that they’re tough on DV, because of Ray Rice and Josh Brown. The reality is they neither care about DV, EE, or Thompson.

  55. Take away guilt or innocence from this matter the NFL is not handling these situations well at all. Even if Elliot is guilty the way the NFL has handled this there will always be doubt. If he is innocent his team and his life are adversely affected. The way the league is doing this is not going to feel like justice unless they happened to get it right. The problem is they will only get it right by mistake; more like they placed a bet on guilty. If they made the decision the other way they may have been wrong towards this Ms. Thompson, but again if that decision was the right one the league would only have done this by mistake. I guess this is why people much wiser than we had logically thought out due process, and innocence until proven guilty.

  56. “The league office tells PFT that the Commissioner’s decision will be reviewed under the “arbitrary and capricious” standard…”
    ————————–

    Let’s see, Ray Rice, who KO’d his fiance, and there was video evidence, gets a two game suspension, Josh Brown, a known and admitted serial wife abuser, gets a one game suspension, and Ezekial Elliott, who is more likely than not nothing more than the victim of a jealous and vindictive ex-girlfriend, gets six games.

    Nothing arbitrary or capricious there.

  57. His legal team wants Tiffany Thompson to testify under oath so they can show she’s a person of questionable character? Meanwhile, we already know Elliott received citations in college for driving on a suspended license, which he got dropped (usually by simply paying a fine). What about driving 100 in a 70? Is he 16? Seen in a cannabis shop… sucker punching someone in a club… lifting a woman’s shirt… this does not even take in to account the Tiffany Thompson case. Who has questionable character again?

  58. Henderson could save a lot of time and just right a report right now. No need for any pesky testimony nonsense. “NFL good. Elliot bad.”

    If the NFL is going to have any credibility on this (yes, I’m trying very hard not to laugh now), we need to know what evidence they have that compels them to suspend Elliot.

    People keep saying “nothing excuses domestic violence,” and guess what? You are EXACTLY right. 100 percent correct.

    The problem here is how can anyone be remotely sure any domestic violence actually happened? Did it? Honestly, it has to be a bit more than he said/she said, doesn’t it? Especially when the “she” credibility meter seems to approach zero.

    I’m all for suspending Elliot if he’s guilty of this – but as this thing has unfolded, that “if” keeps getting bigger and bigger.

  59. First they came for the wife beaters (Rice, Hardy etc.), but I did not speak out because neither I, nor the members of my team beat my wife.

    Then they came for the cheaters (Brady), but I did not speak out because I was not a cheater.

    Then they came for the Cowboys (Elliot), but I did not speak out because no one likes the Cowboys.

    They haven’t yet come for good, respectable players, so it doesn’t matter that these losers won’t be around to stand up for them.

  60. Can’t wait to read all the “He is going to own the NFL after he sues” posts…yawn…

  61. If these players would put some money away, they could collectively bargain for a better deal. Giving up the paycheck, if done correctly could lead to BIGGER paychecks! The CBA has had article 46 in it for decades. Previous Commissioners didn’t use it because they weren’t publicly dishonest…are at least proven to be like Roger “I haven’t seen a tape” Goodell. I am starting to get to the point with the NFL as an organization where I’m out…it’s too stupid to follow anymore. It’s like watching the WWE…at least if someone tunes into that they know it’s acting, and they don’t work too hard to take themselves seriously…it’s entertainment, a show. The NFL, takes itself seriously—while it’s being ridiculous for all to see.

  62. I am no big fan of Zeke or Roger. I will say that I have more faith in the appeals process than many of the above posters. Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman were suspended for PEDs a few years back. Browner took the punishment, but Sherman appealed and won.

  63. Almost everyone is missing a crucial point about NFL’s discipline process: it’s not about absolute justice or truth, it’s simply there to determine if the NFL has enough proof to believe “some” guilt “is possible”. This was painfully clear with deflategate’s infamous “more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware”.

    The NFL discipline isn’t about due process, cross examination, or perjury, like everyone claims and it can’t be even if the NFL wanted to. Seriously, why the hell do people believe that the NFL (or any corporation for that matter) is authorized by the US law to administer the oath?

  64. The CBA is a contract. The law assume contracts are entered into in good faith (the so called “implied covenant of good faith”. The NFLPA gave the league powers of discipline but the league must exercise those powers in good faith. Not letting a player question the key witness against him is a pretty obvious violation of due process, whether in a courtroom or employment hearing. Henderson can’t subpoena Thompson but he can certainly throw out the league’s case against Elliott if there is no sworn testimony against Elliott and no cross-examination of Thompson.

    Henderson won’t do that of course as the NFL would stop sending work his way if he did. But most fair minded judges would stop a railroading. The NFL will lose this one in court if Henderson doesn’t overturn the suspension on his own.

  65. What a joke. As someone else posted, the fix is definitely in. It’s so obvious. Let’s see, the person who made the accusation is not allowed to testify because what she has to say has no relevance on the case??? Really??? Yeah that sounds reasonable…

  66. Greg Falco says:
    August 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm
    it’s not about absolute justice or truth,

    The NFL discipline isn’t about due process
    ==========================
    But it should be. That’s the point.

    Te player discipline process is flawed. Arguing it’s factually flawed seems rather pointless.

  67. squackduckhawk says:
    August 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I am no big fan of Zeke or Roger. I will say that I have more faith in the appeals process than many of the above posters. Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman were suspended for PEDs a few years back. Browner took the punishment, but Sherman appealed and won.
    ———————————-

    The NFL lost all benefit of the doubt when Goodell was caught lying at Brady’s appeal hearing. Things might have been different had Goodell not been grossly incompetent with Ray Rice and Josh Brown.

  68. The 6 game suspension isn’t just for the DV claim. It’s also for pulling a woman’s shirt down and being caught on camera, as well as punching out a DJ. All of those incidents embarrassed the NFL and since Elliot is a member of the league, he will pay for his actions. That’s why the league doesn’t care what Thompson has to say. If the players want due process in the next CBA, fine. The league will say the player cannot play or get paid until the new long and tiresome appeals process takes place.

  69. There is no NFL Justice System. It’s a disciplinary system whereby the CBA, upheld by a court of law, says that the Commissioner can punish anybody for anything he wants regardless of evidence. It’s not complicated. It’s a bad deal for the players because they signed a bad deal with the league. They’re stuck with it for now and your favorite team/player may be next.

  70. Shaking my ahead about those yammering on about this not being about due process. Truly think about what you are saying. Specifically accepting the notion that it’s perfectly acceptable to be suspending a(ny) player without due process. Forget about the how or why on how that came about. Just look at it within that lens for just a moment.

  71. Greg Falco says:
    August 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Seriously, why the hell do people believe that the NFL (or any corporation for that matter) is authorized by the US law to administer the oath?
    ———————-

    All you need is a notary to administer an oath. Brady was under oath at his appeal hearing.

  72. 5280broncosfan says:
    August 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    The 6 game suspension isn’t just for the DV claim. It’s also for pulling a woman’s shirt down and being caught on camera, as well as punching out a DJ.
    ———————

    Not according to the NFL.

  73. Take these fools to court Elliot. Sue them for defamation of character. I hope Jerry Jones takes them to court too and sues Goodell for all that he is worth.

  74. I’m no Dallas fan but it’s absolutely absurd to think the arbitrator won’t allow Elliot to have transcripts nor to have his accuser to take the stand. How can one possibly win a case if he doesn’t have a fighters chance?

  75. bengal4life says:
    August 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    How can one possibly win a case if he doesn’t have a fighters chance?
    ————————

    Now you’re starting to get it. Not sure how anyone is still surprised by this. The NFL claimed that the notes of the “independent” Wells Report were privileged, so they were off limits to Brady. Of course they were privileged because the NFL had their lawyer creating the report.

  76. I’m not sure how anyone can force Tiffany Thompson to testify in this kind of a hearing. Why would either party have subpoena power in an appeal hearing? Plus, if she’s not located in the state where the hearing is held a subpoena is incredibly difficult to obtain.

    The NFL can’t just demand private citizens show up and talk to them.

  77. Why would Elliott want her there anyway? She’s a known liar, and yet the NFL found her credible. I guess having a known liar at the head of your organization clouds your judgement.

  78. Take your L Zeke and move on. We all know you’re a dirt bag already so it really doesn’t matter.

  79. This is why we stood up for the Patriots. Even if you think they cheated, it doesn’t matter, it’s about making sure the NFL has to prove it before any penalty is levied.

  80. The NFL could have also suspended Zeke for 6 games for yanking a woman’s top off exposing her breast against her will. It was an assault caught on video. They have photos of Thompson beaten and bruised. The fact that she sent texts to Zeke saying she’d ruin him isn’t a stretch considering the beating he put on her. The fact that Zeke is willing to pay her off after the fact so she’ll say whatever he wants isn’t going to fly with the NFL. It may be enough to prevent a legal case from proceeding but its not going to be enough to get him off the hook with the league. Zeke has exhibited a pattern of behavior that is degrading towards women and he needs to man up and accept the consequences, apologize and get help.

  81. myvietnamwasfightingtheclap says:
    August 25, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Those posting support of compelling a victim of domestic assualt to appear in a non-judicial tribunal where she will be further victimized are among the lowest creatures on Earth.
    ———————-

    There’s more evidence of her not being a victim than there is of her being a victim. The NFL has branded this guy as an abuser. Don’t you think he at least should see the testimony against him, to help his appeal? Especially since the police declined to file charges?

  82. The public justice system is already corrupted by favored appointments of judges over the years. The NFL has it’s own self chosen system to deal with these too many domestic violence charges committed by NFL players. The Justice department is lenient on domestic violence. The NFL is not and shouldn’t be. The NFL is not some “public forum” where players get a jury trial. Why should they be?

  83. somatg3 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm
    The NFL could have also suspended Zeke for 6 games for yanking a woman’s top off exposing her breast against her will. It was an assault caught on video. They have photos of Thompson beaten and bruised. The fact that she sent texts to Zeke saying she’d ruin him isn’t a stretch considering the beating he put on her. The fact that Zeke is willing to pay her off after the fact so she’ll say whatever he wants isn’t going to fly with the NFL. It may be enough to prevent a legal case from proceeding but its not going to be enough to get him off the hook with the league. Zeke has exhibited a pattern of behavior that is degrading towards women and he needs to man up and accept the consequences, apologize and get help.

    —————————————————————————————

    You nailed it. These people who are defending Elliot are throwing this woman under the bus. I guess they never met an abused woman before (I have).

  84. guyjuneguyjune says:
    August 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    The public justice system is already corrupted by favored appointments of judges over the years. The NFL has it’s own self chosen system to deal with these too many domestic violence charges committed by NFL players. The Justice department is lenient on domestic violence. The NFL is not and shouldn’t be. The NFL is not some “public forum” where players get a jury trial. Why should they be?
    =================================
    So basically the NFL can legislate federal crimes better than the justice department.

    Got it.

  85. guyjuneguyjune says:
    August 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    The Justice department is lenient on domestic violence. The NFL is not and shouldn’t be.
    ——————-

    What NFL are you talking about? The last two high profile cases of confirmed domestic abuse were grossly mishandled by the NFL. That they were lenient on Ray Rice and Josh Brown is an understatement.

    With Elliot, there is compelling, documented evidence and sworn testimony that this gal was out to get him, yet the NFL has apparently disregarded that aspect of the situation.

  86. purpleguy says:
    August 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    Are people really this dumb with all the due process crap? This is a collectively bargained procedure, not a courtroom, and there is no subpoena power compelling her testify. Folks can bitch about Goodell and the NFL all they want, but in the next breath had best admit that the NFLPA and the players are getting the exact process that they agreed to. The author is inflaming folks a bit by not stressing these facts.
    _________________

    Word. It seems the NFLPA is going to be asking for a lot in the next CBA. The question is, what are they willing to give up in order to get MORE MONEY and NEUTRAL ARBITRATION? I can’t see the NFL handing these things over without major concessions.

    Oh, and when you said the ‘author’ is inflaming folks, did you mean ‘blogger’?

  87. mmack66 says:
    August 25, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Greg Falco says:
    August 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Seriously, why the hell do people believe that the NFL (or any corporation for that matter) is authorized by the US law to administer the oath?
    ———————-

    All you need is a notary to administer an oath. Brady was under oath at his appeal hearing.

    ———————-
    And you’re again missing the simple point: The NFL cannot force people to take the oath and cannot administer the oath. No corporation ever can or should. Can you imagine your employer questioning you under threat of perjury if you have been slacking off? Or a cop asking you under oath if you were speeding? Jails would be full of people doing one to five because they played Solitaire during work hours or drove a couple miles above the speed limit and “lied under oath” about it.

  88. Greg Falco says:
    August 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    And you’re again missing the simple point: The NFL cannot force people to take the oath and cannot administer the oath.
    ———————

    The NFL isn’t forcing anyone to take an oath, but if someone wants to be under oath, then the NFL will get someone to administer it. I don’t know what your other nonsense has to do with Elliott’s appeal hearing, where he will be under oath, voluntarily.

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