Elliott granted temporary restraining order, likely to play 2017 season

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was granted a temporary restraining order by U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III on Friday and will be able to play during the 2017 season.

Elliott was suspended for six games on Aug. 11 due to a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy after the league ruled he physically injured his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. Upon appealing the suspension, his sanction was upheld by arbitrator Harold Henderson.

As per the injunction, the NFL isn’t allowed to impose his suspension for the duration of the lawsuit, according to Daniel L. Wallach of Becker and Poliakoff. The NFL can appeal the decision immediately, however.

Mazzant concluded that Elliott didn’t receive a “fundamentally fair” hearing:

The Court finds, based upon the injunction standard, that Elliott was denied a fundamentally fair hearing by Henderson’s refusal to allow Thompson and Goodell to testify at the arbitration hearing. Their absence effectively deprived Elliott of any chance to have a fundamentally fair hearing. The Court grants the request for preliminary injunction.

The NFLPA released the following statement:

Commissioner discipline will continue to be a distraction from our game for one reason: because NFL owners have refused to collectively bargain a fair and transparent process that exists in other sports. This “imposed” system remains problematic for players and the game, but as the honest and honorable testimony of a few NFL employees recently revealed, it also demonstrates the continued lack of integrity within their own League office.

Mazzant ruled Henderson violated the collective bargaining agreement, specifically noting that he didn’t allow access to key pieces of evidence, including the cross-examination of Thompson.

The NFL’s breach of the CBA is compounded by Henderson’s breach of the CBA. Specifically, Henderson denied access to certain procedural requirements, which were necessary to be able to present all relevant evidence at the hearing. Those procedural requests, that Henderson denied are: (1) access investigators’ notes; (2) cross-examine Thompson; and (3) question Commissioner Goodell.

The complete order from Mazzant can be read here, as obtained by Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News.

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NFL | theScore

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