by Kevin Martinez
Last Thursday, a federal appeals court reinstated a six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was accused of domestic violence of his former girlfriend in July 2016, in which he allegedly beat her over a period of several days.
Elliott was initially suspended in August, more than a year after the alleged incident, but later had it overturned by a Texas judge. It was reinstated on Thursday, October 12th, by the 5th Circuit Court of appeals. Despite the fact that he repealed this decision on Tuesday, legal experts consider his appeal to be a longshot, and he will likely have to serve the suspension.
The controversy is that despite the suspension from the NFL, no criminal charges were filed against Elliot by the police. This was due to inconsistent testimonies from his accusers, and an overall lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
Ironically, during a time when domestic violence is becoming a major issue in the NFL and college, Goodell has been criticized for lenient suspensions on other players who were proven guilty.
In 2014, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught punching his fiancee on video, and was only suspended for two games. Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon broke a girl’s jaw while playing in college at Oklahoma, and also received a light punishment, though it was from the NCAA and not Goodell. Regardless, this shows the domestic violence problem that exists in football.
Senior Geoff Wilson was angry at the allegations against Elliot.
“If he did that to someone, he should go to jail,” Wilson argued.
Others were not concerned with the situation. Senior Cesar Fuentes commented, “He’s a good football player. I hope he doesn’t get suspended.”
Roger Goodell has been frequently criticized for his handling of the justice system in the NFL, as well as for giving lenient or unreasonable punishments and ignoring players’ rights to due process. His handling of Elliot’s case will only make him more unpopular with fans, and will further diminish his legacy as being a unfair commissioner.