Appeals court rules against Elliott, clears way for suspension

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A federal appeals court overturned a district court's decision in the Ezekiel Elliott case Thursday, meaning the Dallas Cowboys running back's six-game suspension has been reinstated. At the time the NFLPA filed the complaint, it was possible the arbitrator could have issued a final decision that was favorable to Elliott.

According to appellate lawyer Raffi Melkonian, the NFLPA's lawsuit on Elliott's behalf came prematurely. Elliott can not show it was futile to wait for a final decision simply because he believed the arbitrator would issue an unfavorable ruling.

Elliott's side will now have to refile an injunction in the NFL's back yard, the Southern District of NY, if they are to continue to fight the suspension stemming from a domestic violence allegation. Mazzant ruled in favor of the NFLPA, saying in his decision that the National Football League did not give Elliott a "fundamentally fair hearing".

The NFL filed in the NY court because it is the home of league headquarters and was the site of Elliott's appeal hearing with Henderson.

The circuit court's ruling does not mean Elliott's fight is over.

The league has been unwilling to live with that decision. The NFL filed in NY and they thought this would help them win this case having it away from Elliott's home state of Texas. This recommendation was not passed on to Goodell and, according to the suit, hindered the commissioner's ability to do his job. The league's headquarters is in Manhattan, not Texas, and other cases, including the fight between the league and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, were heard in that court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit eventually enforced his four-game suspension, requiring him to serve it at the beginning of the 2016 season.

If the judges decide that 'we agree with the NFL's point here, ' the jurisdiction here was wrong, that the NFLPA and Ezekiel Elliott's people filed this case before the arbiter's ruling, that the judge in Sherman was actually hearing this case before the arbiter ruled - therefore it doesn't matter what he ruled and renders the entire case irrelevant because of arbitration.

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