Ezekiel Elliot is undoubtedly one of the NFL’s brightest stars. He leads the league in rushing and has spearheaded the Dallas Cowboys’ record-setting seven game win streak. But a dark cloud has been hanging over his head amidst all his on-field success.
His ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson, accused Elliot of domestic abuse just before the season began, leading separate investigations by the Columbus Police and the NFL. The NFL, contrary its previous responses to domestic abuse allegations, has gone completely overboard with its scrutiny of the former Buckeye star, tarnishing his name in the process.
One of the main issues with the NFL’s handling of Elliot’s abuse case is the weakness of Thompson’s accusations.
The Columbus Police found countless contradictions and outright lies in Thompson’s charges. Three separate witnesses exonerated Elliot, as well. One of the witnesses even said that Thompson’s stated goal was to “ruin Elliot’s life.”
The Columbus, Ohio, City Attorney’s Office declined to charge Elliot after performing its own 90 day investigation of incidents between Elliot and Thompson.
So the story ends there? For Elliot,that’s not the case, unfortunately. Since the NFL has powers that supersede the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system, they still are continuing its own investigation. Their ability to suspend Elliot—in spite of the results of the police probe—has continued to mar his brilliant rookie season. The league is now investigating a separate incident between Elliot and the always reliable Thompson that occurred in February 2016.
Domestic violence cases involving Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Adrian Peterson all involved hard, physical evidence of abuse. Yet the NFL failed to muster even the smallest of responses. This time, on a case built entirely on hearsay, the league makes Elliot “Public Enemy No. 1” (according to an ESPN report).
It makes absolutely zero sense, and as a result, Elliot’s name is being dragged through the mud for the NFL’s own political agenda.
The league infamously mishandled its Rice investigation and, earlier this season, its discipline of Giants kicker Josh Brown.
It looks like the NFL is trying to compensate by directing an inordinate amount of energy towards the allegations levied against Elliot. While their actions may be good intentioned, the negative press that has ensued is ridiculous, and unfair towards “Zeke.”