NFL Players' Union Sues NFL Over Elliott's 6-Game Suspension

The NFL Players Association, on behalf of Ezekiel Elliott, has filed a lawsuit challenging the appeal process to the six-game suspension of the Cowboys running back, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, NFL lead investigator Kia Roberts testified this week that she recommended that Elliott not be suspended for his alleged domestic violence incidence.

As a result, the union concluded that the process by which the National Football League arrived at a six-game suspension for Elliott encountered significant flaws somewhere between the investigation itself and the ultimate decision to suspend. She said during the appeal hearing she was the only league official to interview Elliott's accuser, according to ESPN.

On Wednesday at the hearing, appeals officer Harold Henderson heard testimony from Lisa Friel, the former New York City prosecutor who now investigates domestic violence cases for the NFL.

The decision on Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension will likely come sooner than later due to the pressure to reach a resolution immediately, ESPN.com reported Thursday.

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If Elliott's full suspension is upheld on appeal, he would be barred from taking part in any team activities starting on September 2 unless the court issues a stay.

The NFL also filed a motion opposing the NFLPA's request for a temporary restraining order, essentially arguing that even if the court chose to hear the case, it should still deny the temporary restraining order because courts must defer to the collectively bargained arbitration process and the arbitrator's decision. The appeal hearing took place this week from Tuesday-Thursday. Now that Elliott has filed a temporary injunction with the federal court system to block his ban, not only could he be available in the season opener, but there is a chance that barring injury, he could be available for the entire 2017 season while this matter is handled in 2018.

But the NFLPA filing means the Eastern District of Texas court can also decide to stay the suspension if Elliott is told he has to miss any games.

The union also claims, Elliott and the NFLPA were denied the rights of a fair procedure when Henderson would not grant their request to have Thompson testify.

  • Sonia Alvarado