Ezekiel Elliott and the NFLPA received a very favorable ruling today from Judge Amos Mazzant. Mike Florio sums up the three reasons Mazzant ruled in Elliott’s favor taken from the judge’s 22-page decision.
- Credibility issues with the accuser meant that Harold Henderson should have made her available at the appeal for cross-examination.
- The conflicting opinions and conclusions of those involved in the investigation means that Roger Goodell should have testified at the appeal hearing.
- The notes taken when interviewing the accuser should also have been made available at the appeal hearing.
There was also these paragraphs in the ruling:
“Consistent with its previous actions to suppress [Kia] Roberts’s dissenting opinions, the NFL kept this sequence of events from the NFLPA and Elliott until the arbitration hearing. In fact, had the NFL succeeded in its overall goal, this sequence of events would still be concealed from Elliott and the NFLPA. The NFLPA filed a motion to compel the testimony of Roberts, and the NFL argued in response that her testimony was unnecessary, consistent with Friel’s testimony, and cumulative. . . . Luckily, the NFLPA found the fairness needle in the unfairness haystack and Henderson ordered Roberts to testify. The arbitration record shows that Roberts’s testimony was everything but unnecessary, consistent, and cumulative.”
These factors all led to a very strong conclusion from Judge Mazzant regarding Elliott’s likelihood of winning the case when a final ruling is issued: “The circumstances of this case are unmatched by any case this Court has seen. . . . Fundamental unfairness infected this case from the beginning, eventually killing any possibility that justice would be served.”
The NFLPA put out this statement:
Our statement on today's ruling on the temporary restraining order in the Ezekiel Elliott case: pic.twitter.com/g46h7qh2GI— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 8, 2017
"We strongly believe that the investigation and evidence supported the Commissioner's decision and that the process was meticulous and fair throughout," the league said in an emailed statement. "We will review the decision in greater detail and discuss next steps with counsel, both in the district court and federal court of appeals."
“We just learned of the Honorable Amos Mazzant’s decision to grant Mr. Elliott’s request for a preliminary injunction staying the NFL’s six-game suspension,” the statement said. “We are very pleased that Mr. Elliott will finally be given the opportunity to have an impartial decision-maker carefully examine the NFL’s misconduct. This is just the beginning of the unveiling of the NFL’s mishandling as it relates to Mr. Elliott’s suspension. As the Court noted, the question of whether Mr. Elliott received a fundamentally fair hearing was answered: ‘he did not’. We agree.”