The NFL – a place where justice is traditionally meted out on the football field – is awfully litigious these days. This year’s big legal battle, the controversial suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott and its enforcement, continues to escalate as a U.S. Court of Appeals declined to issue a decision on the appeal of the appeal of the suspension.
Oral arguments have concluded. No decision issued today.
— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) October 2, 2017
The league (or Roger Goodell unilaterally, depending on which narrative you choose to endorse) suspended Zeke Elliott for six games back in August for allegedly abusing an ex-girlfriend last summer. The evidence is sketchy, and the actual police declined to press charges. Not taking a side, but those are the facts as we know them.
Elliott and the Cowboys argued that the suspension was bogus and went to an actual court so Zeke could play while the legitimacy of the suspension was determined. The court said, “Yes, he can play while the courts determine if the suspension is appropriate.”
The NFL appealed to a higher court, saying “We reject the court’s ruling that Zeke can play. Suspend him.”
That U.S. Court of Appeals declined to issue a ruling on the NFL’s appeal of Elliott’s appeal, so here we are, knee-deep in legal limbo with Week 5 fast approaching.
Sitting at 2-2 after four weeks, the Cowboys are probably wishing they had just eaten the suspension and were two weeks away from getting a healthy Zeke Elliott back. Instead, Elliott’s future is unclear. It’s possible that he will end up missing pivotal games at the end of the season or even the playoffs if the six-game suspension is ever imposed. And the day of reckoning will come, though it’s unclear when because we’re in Inception 2: NFL Edition with appeals of appeals of appeals obscuring the true nature of reality.
The whole situation is ridiculous. Zeke should probably be a little gentler with women, the NFL should stop targeting its marquee players in pious attempts to come off as a righteous organization (lest we forget what happened to Tom Brady last year), and we should get back to playing football.
There’s enough money on the table for everyone to eat.
That’s not for National Football League. It’s for No more F**ing Lawsuits.