He was slated to miss the first six games of the season, however, due to a federal judge in Texas he was given a reprieve, and the suspension was put on hold. Then a Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans turned over that ruling, and the NFL suspended Elliot again. Along came the Southern District of New York that granted a temporary restraining order against his six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, which means that he can play week 8 and 9, but how long will this last? Will Ezekiel Elliott be able to push the suspension off long enough to play the entire season and is there a precedent for him that will make the rest of the season possible?

Ezekiel Elliott
AP Photo-Ron Jenkins

To answer this question, you must look at all facets of this case. First, we must examine the actual evidence against Elliot and the reason for the NFL’s suspending of Zeke. Then, we must consider the argument Elliott’s lawyers are making and why he should not receive a suspension. Finally, we will examine precedent for legal battles in the NFL.  In situations like this, it is hard to view the accused with any non-bias but to formulate an informed opinion, we must do precisely that.`

Ezekiel Elliott
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This all started when the Cowboys star running back was a part of a domestic violence case against his former girlfriend on multiple occasions in 2016. The NFL believes that there was enough persuasive evidence that he committed the act of domestic violence numerous times. Even though the Columbus and State police did not charge Elliot with any crime, the NFL has put a six-game suspension on Ezekiel Elliott for violating the personal conduct policy.

The Arguments

The case against Elliot playing has moved away from his acts in 2016 and is now focusing on the NFL’s power to suspend him if he was not charged with any crime. Will the suspension cause Ezekiel Elliott irreparable harm? Rodger Goodell and NFL believe that they have the power to suspend players who violate the personal conduct policy under the collective bargaining agreement by the NFLPA and the NFL.

Ezekiel Elliott
Andrew Dieb-Icon Sportswire

Ezekiel Elliott’s lawyers and the NFLPA argument against the suspension is that Ezekiel Elliott will suffer “irreparable harm” if he is suspended. The NFL’s counter to this is that “the suspension will not cause harm to his career and reputation in the NFL, ” and the NFLPA response was “that argument defies reason in this industry, where players’ careers are precarious and short.”

Elliot is fighting this suspension to protect his image and who he is as a person. In a statement to ESPN, he says “When you get accused of something of that magnitude, you kind of get labeled as an abuser, and that’s not me,” Elliott said. “That’s not how I want to be seen. That’s not what I want to represent to my family. So I mean it’s just important for me to fight.”

Why Both Sides Need Settle Out of Court

We can look back to Tom Brady’s situation known as “Deflate-Gate” in which he was suspended for four games for deflating footballs. After a long and tiring battle in which the courts ruled in favor of the NFL, Tom Brady was still suspended for his four games. However, the process made the NFL look petty and was hugely embarrassing for them. The story has all but left Tom Brady and these long court cases seem to be more of a blemish on the NFL than the player.

This lawsuit is not going to work out well for anyone, either the NFL wins, and Ezekiel Elliott carries out his suspension for six games in which his reputation is forever tarnished;

or Ezekiel Elliott wins, and the NFL loses its authority. The only way that both sides of this battle will come out with a little bit of Victory is that if they negotiate terms and come to a settlement. A settlement in which Elliot is only suspended for two games could be a win for both sides. Elliot can claim that he is being suspended on a technicality and the NFL can claim a moral victory. If things end this way, both the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott can save face on what has been a long, drawn-out public debacle.