A federal appeals court cleared the way for the NFL to impose a six-game suspension on Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations on Thursday, siding with the league in the latest high-profile fight over its ability to punish players for off-field behavior.
In it's majority decision, 5th Circuit judges Edward C. Prado and Jennifer Walker Elrod ruled that the NFLPA filed its lawsuit to have Elliott's suspension dissolved before an arbitration decision was made on the decision.
If Elliott's legal team can't put the suspension on hold again, it will begin October 22 at San Francisco. "As there was no final decision, Elliott had not yet exhausted the contracted-for remedies".
On Thursday afternoon, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the NFL.
Elliott was not present at that hearing.
The league has been unwilling to live with that decision. The NFLPA is expected to file a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, according to sports and gaming attorney Daniel Wallach. This recommendation was not passed on to Goodell and, according to the suit, hindered the commissioner's ability to do his job. Because the National Football League has already filed in NY, it would go there and then Elliott's people would would try to get a temporary restraining order there. The league's headquarters is in Manhattan, not Texas, and other cases, including the fight between the league and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, were heard in that court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit eventually enforced his four-game suspension, requiring him to serve it at the beginning of the 2016 season.
On September 9, U.S. District Court judge Amos Mazzant granted the NFL Players Association's preliminary injunction request on the behalf of Elliott.