In response to the league’s filing of an emergency motion for a stay of the injunction blocking the suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, Elliott’s legal team contends that the league is less concerned about how it treats its players than how it looks to the general public.
“The NFL’s latest legal maneuvering appears to be indicative of a league with an agenda: Trying to navigate a public relations crisis rather than focus on fairness and fact finding,” lawyers Frank Salzano and Scott Rosenblum said in a statement. “The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the NFL believes it can write its own rules and will stop at nothing to further its agenda of enforcing its unfounded assertions regarding Mr. Elliott. Most recently this would include the NFL seeking an expedited hearing on staying the preliminary injunction by frivolously arguing that the NFL is somehow ‘irreparably harmed’ by Elliott playing while the Courts decide whether the investigation and appeal was fundamentally unfair. Mr. Elliott and his team will continue to zealously oppose any of the NFL’s court filings.”
Last Friday, a federal judge in Texas issued the injunction based in part on the conclusion that the NFL’s process did not afford Elliott fundamental fairness. The judge pointed to, among other things, the failure to compel testimony from Elliott’s accuser, the failure to compel testimony from Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the failure to require the league to produce to Elliott the notes of its interviews of the accuser.
The league has asked for an emergency stay of the injunction to be granted by September 19 and no later than September 26. The goal is to get the suspension started, regardless of the outcome of the litigation challenging it.