The ongoing Ezekiel Elliott story hasn’t been good for the NFL.
There have been so many twists and turns in the legal battle since Elliott was originally suspended six games, it has become exhausting. By one count (h/t to @TheFrontOffice1 on Twitter), Friday’s administrative stay in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was the 14th major event in the saga, starting when Elliott was first suspended on Aug. 11.
You’ll hear people wonder why Elliott doesn’t just give up the legal battle against the NFL and serve the suspension, which was given out due to an alleged domestic violence incident. His answer seems obvious, but it’s probably worthwhile to hear it straight from him. He was asked Friday if he has considered accepting the suspension.
“No. I mean, this is bigger than a suspension, it’s bigger than football,” Elliott said, via David Helman of the Cowboys’ official website. “It’s them trying to make me something I’m not. I’m not an abuser. That’s not who I am. This is my name, this is my reputation. This is something I’m going to have to live with beyond football. So every day is worth fighting.”
Elliott has maintained his innocence the entire time, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has backed him. If Elliott accepted a suspension without fighting it, for many people that would be an admission of guilt. The NFL can’t back off either. It offered very specific reasons why it believed Elliott committed domestic violence against his former girlfriend in 2016. If the NFL gave up the legal fight, it would bring a new round of criticism that the NFL doesn’t care enough about domestic violence.
So the saga continues. It might be done soon, because if Elliott doesn’t win his appeal of a judge denying his motion for a preliminary injunction, it’s really hard to figure out another legal move for him. The whole ordeal is tiring, and you can imagine it is for the parties involved as well. But Elliott is just waiting to see what happens next.
“It’s really, at this point, hard for me to get down or up about this whole situation, because tomorrow could bring something different,” Elliott said, according to Helman. “It’s really not, like I said, worth my time to even worry about.”
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