Though it hasn’t received a lot of media attention, there is movement concerning the legal appeal of the NFL’s six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Oral arguments took place on Monday at the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The NFL is seeking an emergency stay of a ruling that has allowed Elliott to play while his appeal works its way through the courts.
No decision was announced following the hearing, though one of the judges on the three-judge panel said the ruling would come as soon as possible.
Could Elliott be ruled out of the game against the Green Bay Packers? If the pending ruling goes against Elliott, can Elliott keep playing by filing a further appeal?
I’m not sure, but I’m quite sure that litigation such as this is not good for the game.
The injection of obstructive litigation into pro football reached its most repugnant heights a little more than a year ago, when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, quarterback Tom Brady, and the players’ union (NFLPA) decided to throw their influence, gobs of money, and legions of lawyers up against the league, in an effort to thwart the NFL from enforcing a four-game suspension against the sainted New England QB.
So the Elliott matter is déjà vu. We have a pampered superstar, a very wealthy and powerful owner, and once again a players’ union that sides with the players even when it serves to damage the reputation of the sport. Power-wielding owners Kraft and Jerry Jones seem to think the rules that apply to the rest of us shouldn’t apply to their teams.
It might be that the Cowboys are actually hurting their chances of success this year with their legal maneuvers.
Because the Elliott factions chose to not get this suspension behind them, it’s likely that Elliott’s suspension will occur when teams are making their mid- to late-season push to get an attractive placing in the postseason.
Elliott could even conceivably be suspended from playing in postseason games. If that were to happen, maybe Jerry Jones would learn a lesson from all this. It’s doubtful, however, that Ezekiel Elliott will learn any lesson.
At the least, we fans can add Elliott to the list of NFL abusers, like Adrian Peterson, who deserve only to be booed for the rest of their sports careers.