After a year long investigation, Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliot has been formerly handed a six game suspension after charges for domestic violence fell through in the summer of 2016. Officially, the NFL claims Elliot violated their personal conduct policy, and only sited the incidents taking place with former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. The penalties do not include the recent alleged altercation between Elliot and a DJ at a bar, or the St Patricks Day video of Elliot clearly sexually assaulting a woman.
Goodell Slams the Gavel Again
Most NFL fans are not a fan of Roger Goodell because of his punishments handed down to players and organizations that are not always consistent or clear. Ray Rice was caught on video knocking his wife out cold and was only suspended two games, albeit standardized rules have been created since then for such altercations. Former Giants’ kicker, Josh Brown, only received a single game suspension after verbally and physically assaulting his wife at the time. The New England Patriots and Tom Brady were also punished by Goodell in Deflategate when the future hall of fame quarterback allegedly used under-inflated balls in the playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts. Brady was suspended four games, while the NFL penalized the organization one million dollars and multiple draft picks. This decision was heavily scrutinized for its reliance on circumstantial evidence and its lack of effect on the fame in question.
From the letter sent to Ezekiel Elliot by NFL investigator B. Todd Jones, investigators and medical personnel connected photographic evidence with time frames given by the victim and witnesses as well as the medical opinions regarding the source of Ms. Thompson’s injuries. This was clearly enough evidence to the NFL to conclude that Elliot committed three of the five claimed acts of domestic violence.
In response, Ezekiel Elliot’s legal team responded that the NFL “cherry picked” evidence and ignored witnesses that pointed out the alleged victim’s multiple claims to ruin his career. They believe evidence proving Elliot’s innocence will come to light, and the Cowboys’ running back will successfully appeal.
The Reaction of NFL Fans
NFL fans have definitely had a mixture of reactions. The minority is clearly that Ezekiel Elliot had this punishment coming, which is pretty much where I stand. We’ll get to my opinion later. It seems that the majority feel that the NFL has no right to hand down this suspension because Ezekiel Elliot was not formerly charged by legal officials involved in the investigation. They go on to compare his suspension to that of Ray Rice and Josh Brown, and that it would be more consistent for the running back to receive similar discipline. At the end of the day, the NFL isn’t the law. It’s on a-whole-nother level than that.
My Take On Ezekiel Elliot’s Off-The-Field Issues
Zeke Just Isn’t A Good Dude
I am not a fan of Ezekiel Elliot off of the field, and I personally think he deserves some type of punishment for the entirety of the multiple altercations that he has been allegedly involved in. In my book, Elliot sexually assaulted a woman after pulling down her top and exposing her breast at a St Patrick’s Day parade. I personally don’t care that she didn’t press charges; she clearly was not consenting on the video released by TMZ.
Elliot also allegedly broke a DJ’s nose at a bar, and the police conveniently could not reach the victim. Additionally convenient, no witnesses came forward. We’ve seen many victims withdraw charges involving NFL players including former Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy. These types of disputes are often speculated to be settled monetarily behind closed doors. Finally, we go back to his ex-girlfriend who claimed that she was physically assaulted by Zeke on five separate occasions.
What is more likely? Are all of these allegations completely falsified? Or is Ezekiel Elliot displaying a pattern of bad behavior? I would agree that the latter is true.
Zeke Deserved It In The End
To me, Zeke has had some kind of punishment coming for weeks now. Six games may be excessive due to highly circumstantial evidence, but that is all Goodell needs. Remember how he penalized the Patriots’ organization and Tom Brady following Deflategate? The same fans condemning the Zeke suspension, were calling for the heads of Brady, Belichick, and Kraft in 2015. At some point, the NFL would have to step in and defend the reputation they’ve been desperately trying to rekindle since the days of Ray Rice.
I fully expect Elliot to appeal this decision and perhaps get the suspension reduced to just two to four games. I believe the NFL will grant him such an appeal for the simple lack of direct evidence. The NFL will not expel all of the suspension because they are notorious for making a statement to similar players regardless of proven guilt.
I honestly don’t understand the surprised reactions.
If these allegation are indeed true, I hope Ezekiel Elliot can learn from this, accept his final punishments, and go on to be the hall of fame player we all know he can be while simultaneously being a decent part of society.