Ezekiel Elliott and the National Football League, not to mention millions of fans and fantasy players, are waiting to see if arbitrator Harold Henderson upholds, reduces or overturns the Cowboys running back's six-game suspension.
Elliott was suspended for six games after the league determined he used physical force last summer in OH against Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time, AP reports.
The association also alleges that the investigation into the allegations made against Elliott, 22, is all part of a "League-orchestrated conspiracy by senior NFL executives ... to hide critical information which would exonerate Elliott". Included in that is why the league wouldn't allow Elliott's team to interview his accuser, Tiffany Thompson, and why Lisa Friel went against the advice of the lead investigator Kia Roberts to not suspend Elliott at all.
The union will attempt to persuade a court to agree that Goodell's suspension of Elliott can't stand, even if Henderson backs it. "Further, the fundamental unfairness set forth above was then compounded, multiple times, by denying Elliott the opportunity to confront his accuser and have her sit for cross-examination, a denial which deprived Elliott and the union of the most basic rights of a fundamentally fair procedure, in a proceeding where everyone agreed that the credibility of the accuser and Elliott were essential to resolution". But ignoring Roberts' recommendation and keeping her out of the meeting after she was the one who spoke with the victim could hurt the NFL's case. The NFLPA, and Elliott, are now crying foul because the NFL issued its six-game suspension of Elliott without seeking Roberts' input. She made her point of view on particularly the credibility issues known in the report; they are reflected in the report. "Mr. Elliott looks forward to being completely vindicated and will continue to explore all other legal options to redress the reputational and monetary harm that he has suffered".
Henderson is expected to rule on Elliott's appeal soon, according to The Associated Press. Although the 2016 season's rushing leader denied all claims regarding the incident, Henderson must thoroughly assess both sides of the case before coming to a decision, and not be too pressured by the added weight of expectations coming from such a prolific player and the franchise he plays for. The Star-Telegram noted that if the arbitrator does not make a decision by Tuesday, Elliott could be eligible to take the field for the Cowboys' Week 1 game against the Giants.