The situation regarding Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension remains as fluid and drama-filled as ever.
That became glaringly evident early Friday morning when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFLPA filed a temporary restraining order in Texas. The motion is asking the courts to block Elliott’s ban should it be upheld by NFL appeals officer Harold Henderson.
Here we go again: NFLPA vs NFL, this time over Ezekiel Elliott. pic.twitter.com/XAoeR3FpNV
NFLPA Continues to Battle League Over Ezekiel Elliott Suspension
This latest course of action by the players’ union alleges that the NFL is “orchestrating a league-wide conspiracy” by withholding information in the domestic violence investigation against Elliott that might prove his innocence. It comes after an exhaustive hearings process over the previous two days.
Two persons are of particular import in the union’s motion. The first is Kia Wright Roberts, the NFL’s Director of Investigations. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Roberts was the only figure associated with the NFL’s case against Elliott to interview his accuser, Tiffany Thompson.
As a result of her findings, Roberts recommended to investigators that Elliott not be suspended. However, her testimony at Elliott’s appeal hearing appears to indicate that she wasn’t included in the process associated with meting out discipline. This ties into the second person of note, Lisa Friel.
Friel is a former New York City prosecutor and the NFL’s Senior Vice President and Special Counsel for Investigation. Currently the lead figure in domestic violence investigations for the league, she testified on Wednesday in front of Henderson. And her statements seem to corroborate the testimony from Roberts with regard to potential discipline for Elliott.
These recent developments prompted the NFLPA’s most recent action on Friday. The organization representing the players is adamant that the process by which league commissioner Roger Goodell arrived at a six-game ban for Elliott is fundamentally flawed. It’s for that reason that this issue isn’t going away anytime soon.
Should Henderson uphold the suspension either in its current form or in a reduced version, the players’ union could file an injunction on Elliott’s behalf. That may allow him to play in the team’s season opener against the New York Giants while the legal process plays out. Either way, Friday’s move by the NFLPA is the latest salvo in a potentially long and drawn out showdown involving a talented yet controversial running back.