Sports

NFLPA files petition to prevent potential Elliott ban

NFLPA files petition to prevent potential Elliott ban

The NFLPA's request, filed last Thursday night in U.S. District Court in Texas, alleges the forthcoming ruling by appeals officer Harold Henderson - who heard this week Elliott's appeal of his six-game suspension for violating the personal conduct policy - is based on an appeal process that has "deprived the union and Elliott of fundamental fairness".

The NFL had no comment on the filing.

As reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and ESPN, Elliott and the NFL players association are asking the court to nullify any suspension, on the grounds that the league employed improper procedures in arriving at the decision to punish him for alleged acts of domestic violence.

Elliott, 22, was never charged in the case and has denied the allegations.

According to a report from ESPN's Dan Graziano, Kia Wright Roberts, the NFL's Director of Investigations and the only league official to interview Elliott's accuser Tiffany Thompson, testified that based on her investigation she would not have recommended disciplinary action against Elliott.

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"That Roberts' recommendation didn't make it into the report and that she wasn't involved in the decision could be used against the National Football League if a federal court case is pursued".

Roberts' recommendation was not part of the NFL's final report or the suspension letter sent to Elliott and made public by the NFL; instead, the report focused on the league's findings of three times where Elliott was allegedly abusive toward Thompson, citing the victim's testimony and photographic evidence she provided. The timing of the suit stems from "powerful new evidence" that reportedly came to light during Elliott's appeal.

Further, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a meeting to discuss Elliott's discipline, it did not include Roberts - but it included Jeff Pash, NFL executive vice president and general counsel, Adolpho Birch, the league vice president of labor policy and government affairs, and Lisa Friel, senior vice president for investigations.

Put another way: the NFLPA believes that because Robert co-authored the report, her professional opinion that no punishment should be given to Elliott should have been included in the report. The NFLPA petition comes after the union and Elliott already planned to call into question Thompson's credibility.

Elliott is coming off a sensational season in which he rushed for a Cowboys rookie-record 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Cowboys' season opener is September 10 against the New York Giants.


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