NFL didn’t ask Elliott’s accuser to testify

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The federal court ruling that delayed the suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott cited several flaws in the NFL’s disciplinary procedure. Judge Amos L. Mazzant III, in determining that the process lacked fundamental fairness, mentioned among other things the failure of arbitrator Harold Henderson to require the NFL to produce Elliott’s accuser, Tiffany Thompson, for testimony.

The league’s position, per a source with knowledge of the situation, is that the NFL has no subpoena power, and thus can’t compel Thompson or anyone else to appear and testify. Also, the league has concerns about putting alleged domestic violence victims in awkward and uncomfortable positions, a lesson learned when Janay Palmer Rice attended with former Ravens running back Ray Rice a disciplinary hearing at NFL headquarters.

That said, PFT has learned that the league didn’t ask Thompson to appear and testify at the appeal hearing before Harold Henderson. She voluntarily agreed to be interviewed six times by the league; perhaps she would have agreed to appear and testify under oath, if the request had been made.

Yes, she would have been required to face Elliott and confront cross-examination from his lawyers. But that same approach would have applied if prosecutors had filed criminal charges against Elliott, and that same approach will apply if Thompson eventually files a civil lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

The league’s reluctance to ask her to testify became moot once Henderson refused to compel the league to make her available. However the current litigation plays out, the decision not to require Thompson to testify in a case that Elliott believes turns on issues of witness credibility will continue to be a significant point of contention.

19 responses to “NFL didn’t ask Elliott’s accuser to testify

  1. Maybe the NFL should stay out of the business of private citizens. It’s super creepy how they suspended him with no proof or evidence. The woman wasn’t even interviewed. Her texted showed (even creepier how we are all ok with people’s texts being leaked these days) indicated she was going to blackmail Zeke. This is a mess that the NFL never ever should have stuck its nose into. They will learn the hard way. Do you really think Jerry Jones Texas oil money is going to sit on the sidelines during this and not buy influence for zeke? As if he already hasn’t.

  2. If your own investigator whose personal interest serves the league interviewed her on 6 different occasions and after all of them recommended that Zeke not be suspended at all, I’m sure the defense would he able to draw similar conclusions.

    The league used Tiffany Thompson as their primary witness and her testimonials (all six versions of them) should be provided to the accused if you allow that person to appeal your decision. The fact that you didn’t is a problem, and every judge with any amount of decency will want an explanation as to why that was not the case.

    Remember.. in court, evidence used for or against any accused is made available to both legal sides for their review to ensure a fair and speedy trial.

  3. Just let it go Goodell. Let it go! There is no Universe that exists where the outcome makes NFL front office looking professional and glorious. Just like the league dragged Elliot’s name through the mud, NOW it’s the leagues’ name dragged through the mud making up rules as they go. You will NOT beat Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. You already failed when Mara’s objective back fired. Dallas is winning the NFC East with or with out Zeke and no low blows will change that. Not even injuries. Let it go. Except defeat. A bunch of ” I got this job and don’t know how to do it but it’s cool because my daddy knows someone” front NFL office but as individuals or together, are NO match for Jerry Jones, especially in Texas?!?!?! Let me guess, To make it more justice ,probably fine another ex Giant for something he did 20 years ago. NFL is the best sport in America but front office is a joke.

  4. You think this is bad? Fraudger could have compelled the Pats’ ball boys to attend but chose not to. Fraudger should have accepted ref Walt Anderson’s testimony on which guage was used, but chose not to. Fraudger should have allowed Brady to cross examine the report’s authors (like Zeke could for his) but refused. Fraudger should have accepted Brady’s phone logs (like Zeke’s were), but he didn’t. And yet the 2nd circuit in NY was fine (2-to-1) with the process. Yet even the 2nd court stopped short of saying Brady was guilty, but that didn’t stop the league saying it, and most of the league, especially Jerrah, was happy with that.

  5. It’s like the FBI Hillary email investigation when she used a secret server in her bathroom to send and receive classified information. The outcome was determined before the investigation was even done.

  6. This is what happens when you have a player discipline policy placed above the law of the land. No subpoena power? Weird. Maybe that should make the NFL think twice about administering a brand of justice based on nothing more than what you can find at the bottom of a cracker jack box.

  7. The League is not the nation. They can indeed put their player discipline above the law of the land as far as running their business is concerned. See “Boy Scouts of America vs Dale”

  8. Just like with McNally and Jastremski, the NFL didn’t want that gal anywhere near that appeal hearing, where she would have been placed under oath, and the depths of the fraud would have been fully revealed.

    If she had anything to say that would have supported the NFL, they would have had her there.

  9. RegisHawk says:
    September 13, 2017 at 9:51 am

    The League is not the nation. They can indeed put their player discipline above the law of the land as far as running their business is concerned.

    No they can’t. Roger may think that he can, which is why he finds himself in Federal court all of the time.

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