NFL seeks quick ac­tion to get Elliott sus­pen­sion re­in­stated

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY SCHUYLER DIXON

The NFL filed an emer­gency mo­tion in fed­eral ap­peals court Fri­day, hop­ing to get a swift rul­ing on its re­quest to over­rule a judge who blocked a six-game sus­pen­sion for star Dal­las Cow­boys run­ning back Ezekiel Elliott in a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence case in Ohio.

The league filed its re­quest with the 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in New Or­leans, even though a fed­eral judge in Texas hasn’t ruled on a re­quest to put the in­junc­tion on hold while an ap­peal is pur­sued. The emer­gency mo­tion asks the court to rule on the re­quest to sus­pend U.S. Dis­trict Judge Amos Maz­zant’s in­junc­tion as early as Tues­day, the start of the prac­tice week be­fore the Cow­boys’ third game of the sea­son against Ari­zona. If the rul­ing isn’t made by Tues­day, the NFL is ask­ing for a de­ci­sion by Sept. 26, the start of prac­tice be­fore Dal­las’ Week 4 home game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Elliott had al­ready been cleared to play in a 19-3 win over the New York Gi­ants in the sea­son opener be­fore Maz­zant granted his re­quest for an in­junc­tion. Last year’s NFL rush­ing leader will play Sun­day at Denver un­der Maz­zant’s rul­ing.

The 22-year-old Elliott was sus­pended by Com­mis­sioner

Roger Good­ell in Au­gust af­ter the league con­cluded fol­low­ing a year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion that he had sev­eral phys­i­cal con­fronta­tions last sum­mer in Ohio with his girl­friend at the time. The NFL play­ers’ union sued on Elliott’s be­half.

In its emer­gency mo­tion, the NFL re­it­er­ated pre­vi­ous ar­gu­ments that Elliott’s at­tor­neys sued pre­ma­turely be­cause ar­bi­tra­tor Harold Hen­der­son had yet to rule on the run­ning back’s ap­peal of the sus­pen­sion. The ap­peal was de­nied the same day as ar­gu­ments over the re­quest for an in­junc­tion from Maz­zant in Sher­man, Texas, about 65 miles north of Dal­las.

The NFL ul­ti­mately wants to get the case moved from Texas to the South­ern Dis­trict of New York. That was the venue for the league’s suc­cess­ful ap­peal af­ter a fed­eral judge had over­turned New Eng­land quar­ter­back Tom Brady’s four-game sus­pen­sion in the “De­flate­gate’’ case.

The NFL con­tends Maz­zant’s rul­ing was an un­nec­es­sary in­ter­fer­ence in the league’s labour deal with the play­ers.

“Put dif­fer­ently, the sixgame sus­pen­sion ap­proved by the ar­bi­tra­tor will ul­ti­mately stand, and no one’s in­ter­ests are served by de­lay­ing that dis­ci­pline based on a mis­guided or­der by a dis­trict court that lacked ju­ris­dic­tion,’’ the NFL wrote in its mo­tion.

AP PHOTO

In this file photo from last Sun­day, Dal­las Cow­boys run­ning back Ezekiel Elliott warms up be­fore an NFL foot­ball game against the New York Gi­ants Ar­ling­ton, Texas. The NFL is ask­ing a fed­eral ap­peals court to move quickly on its re­quest to over­rule a judge’s in­junc­tion that blocked a six-game sus­pen­sion for the Cow­boys’ star run­ning back.

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