With all of the bad press that the NFL has received over the past few years regarding domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, and guns, it seems like the owners want to make an example out of another NFL player: Ezekiel Elliott. Reports have come out that NFL owners, who are not the Dallas Cowboys General Manager Jerry Jones, are pushing Roger Goodell to suspend Elliott for an alleged domestic incident involving a female acquaintance while he was at Ohio State University. Before we get into why this is wrong let’s give everyone a refresher on the incidents and then get into why this is wrong and also something that Goodell technically can’t do under the NFL and NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
At 5:18 am on July 22nd, 2016 police were called to Ezekiel Elliott’s birthday after party at an apartment complex in Ohio where a woman, claiming to be Elliott’s girlfriend, says she was assaulted by Elliott. The complainant stated that this was not the first time, that she had been assaulted multiple times over the past five days and had visible marks on her body. The report went on to say that she was assaulted while sitting in the vehicle and pulled out of the car by Elliott while three other people were in the car. Also included in the report were witness statements. All of the witnesses, including the friend of the complainant, stated that they did not witness the alleged assault. When police spoke with Elliott he stated that the complainant was not his girlfriend, he had not assaulted her but he has had a previous sexual relationship with her. Elliott indicated that the as she was involved in an altercation at a bar with another undisclosed person. Two officers would later confirm that the complainant was in an altercation at a bar earlier that night. The witnesses that were with them at the bar also confirmed this story. Elliott stated that the complainant was upset that he wouldn’t take her home and that’s why she called the police. The two witnesses, one being the friend of the complainant, confirmed they heard her yell that she was going to call the cops to ruin Elliott’s career. No arrests were made or charges filed.
It would later be uncovered that the woman called the police and accused Elliott of assaulting her in Florida five months earlier. She claimed that she was pushed up against a wall by Elliott. In the police report, Elliott stated that the complainant started the altercation and he pushed her back after she grabbed him. No arrests were filed in this case either but the police referred the complainant to the district attorney but she did not pursue it any further. Now with all this going on add on the TMZ video of Elliott pulling down the top of a female acquaintance on St. Patrick’s Day which later we found out was traveling with Elliott and who he also had a relationship with, and the recent alleged bar fight between Elliott and an unknown alleged victim. As of right now, the police have tried to speak with the alleged victim but he has not come forward to speak with police so the case was suspended at this time.
Yes, the incident in July involving Elliott and the complainant did occur after he was drafted by the Cowboys but no charges were filed and there are eye witness statements which claimed nothing the complainant said happened. It has been over a year since the incident in question, so why is the NFL pursuing Elliot now? The NFL still feels like they are under pressure to show how serious they are about domestic violence in the NFL and are trying to make an example out of Elliott. When this story was reported by Dan Patrick on the Dan Patrick Show that the owners are the ones pushing for Goodell to suspend Elliott, it explains why Goodell hasn’t closed the investigation, even though there is nothing to suspend him for. If Goodell does give in to the pressure coming from the team owners, the NFL will open themselves up to new problems with the NFLPA with the collective bargaining agreement soon to expire.
Elliott does need to keep himself out of trouble but Goodell also needs to follow the CBO and not allow owners who want to prove a point to drag the NFL into another Brady vs. The NFL situation.