The case against Cowboys’ running back, Ezekiel Elliott, is no longer about guilt. It’s now about fairness of the process.
For Cowboys Nation, the painful part of the Zeke drama is now over. While we all wanted Zeke to play football for the Cowboys, it’s safe to say none of wanted a domestic abuser to go free without punishment. Where many of us divided was whether or not we thought he was a domestic abuser or not.
I’m happy to say that painful part is now largely behind us. Sure, the arguments will likely wage on but it will do so unnecessarily. That’s because that portion of the hearing is over. Legally speaking, that issue was essentially resolved months ago when the local district attorney chose not to prosecute. But now it has also concluded with the NFL since the original hearing concluded last month and the appeal wrapped up last week.
Now the only thing up for debate is the fairness of the process.
Remember, this court case before Federal District Judge Amos Mazzant III isn’t about whether Zeke did it or not. It’s about how the NFL handled the process and if the process was unfair. And according to the initial ruling, so far so good for Zeke. Said Mazzant:
“Based upon the preliminary injunction standard, the Court finds, That Elliott did not receive a fundamentally fair hearing, necessitating the Court grant the request for preliminary injunction”
If you remember back to the Deflategate drama, this is exactly what the court looked at as well. Not whether Tom Brady deflated balls but whether or not the NFL hearing was fair. Ultimately the process was fair and Brady served his suspension. But early on it appears Zeke has a much better case:
“The circumstances of this case are unmatched by any case this court has seen…Fundamental unfairness infected this case from the beginning, eventually killing an possibility that justice would be served.”
From the initial hearing and ruling to the appeal, Judge Mazzant does not appear overly impressed with the NFL. Again, he could see Zeke as an abusing dirtbag but that doesn’t really have an impact on the final verdict. He needs to rule whether the NFL’s actions/process was fair or not. And that doesn’t look good for the NFL
This case will drag on well-beyond this season and the final ruling is still very much in question.
The good news is the ugliness of the domestic violence conversation has now passed and the relevant conversation today is the NFL’s conduct in handling it all.