Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has appealed his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, making him the latest star to push back against the league for the way it has penalized players.
If the NFL does not reduce the suspension, Elliott could sue the league in federal court, setting the stage for a potentially protracted showdown like the one between the NFL and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, which lasted more than a year.
Last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing yards last season, his rookie year. The decision came after a yearlong investigation by the league into Elliott’s behavior during a six-day stretch in July 2016 in which his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson accused him of assaulting her five times in Columbus, Ohio, where he played at Ohio State.
Elliott was not arrested or charged because a prosecutor concluded that Thompson’s statements conflicted with those made by Elliott and witnesses.