Opinion: Ezekiel Elliot Should be Serving his Suspension
Ezekiel Elliott, the starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys, had been suspended for six games after a yearlong investigation into his role in domestic violence accusations. He appealed the suspension and can play in games while waiting for the court’s decision on the appeal. This is morally and contractually wrong. Elliott should not be allowed to play.
Elliot doesn’t seem sorry for his role in the domestic violence accusations because he is attacking the credibility of the victim instead of apologizing for his actions. According to a Sports Blog Nation report, Elliot’s accuser, Tiffany Thompson, provided some inconsistent and inaccurate information, but the investigators believed she was telling the truth about other domestic violence attacks she endured from Elliot.
Instead of Elliot focusing on the parts that are untrue, he should focus on the parts that are true and apologize. The only apology he made was for being a “distraction
and disruption” according to a Washington Post article from August. Those are not actions from a man who has learned from his mistakes and is sorry for his actions. The fact that he isn’t showing remorse is evidence of why he should not be playing, and it’s morally wrong to allow Elliott to play during the appeal process.
It’s also contractually wrong allowing Elliott to play. The NFL and the NFL Player Association agreed on a contract for the conduct of the NFL players, also known as the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the CBA, under the “Personal Conduct Policy,” it states that if a player is involved in domestic violence, the first-time offender would be suspended for six games.
According to the Washington Post, the domestic policy was ratified in December 2014 after the controversies surrounding Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Greg Hardy. The article also stated that Elliott is not the first player to receive this six-game suspension. However, he is the highest-profile player to receive one. High-profile players shouldn’t receive special treatment, and the punishment should be more severe for these types of players.
There are other legal issues like if Elliot received fair treatment. We all deserve due process and a fair opportunity to advocate for ourselves. Owning up to your mistakes and taking responsibilities for your actions is important, which it doesn’t seem like Elliot is doing. Elliot’s appealing isn’t too upsetting, but it’s more upsetting that the court ignored their precedent and the already established contract by the NFL and NFLPA. Ignoring these facts and allowing Elliot to play discredits the CBA and is contractually wrong.
Ezekiel Elliott needs help, as his actions show that he doesn’t respect women. The Washington Post article said that Elliot’s actions during a St. Patrick’s Day parade also played a part in him receiving this six-game suspension. He pulled down on a young woman’s shirt, exposing and touching her breast. Instead of playing, maybe he should seek counseling, anger management, and become educated about respecting women.
Elliott’s actions are disturbing, disgusting, and dangerous; the courts should be ashamed, and the Dallas Cowboys should be ashamed. But most importantly, Ezekiel Elliott himself should be ashamed every time he plays a down, when he should be improving and bettering himself during his suspension.