Social issues & the extent of the NFL Commissioner’s powers: A review of Ezekiel Elliott caseAdam Banner
Ezekiel Elliott is running back for the Dallas Cowboys. In July 2016, he was accused of assaulting a woman1. When a prosecutor decided2 conflicting evidence disclosed during the police investigation didn’t rise to the level of a prosecutable criminal offense under Ohio law, the National Football League chose to conduct its own year-long investigation into the matter.
The investigation resulted in Elliott being suspended for six games. Elliot then appealed his suspension to the NFL through arbitration and lost. Simultaneously, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), on Elliott’s behalf, sued the league in federal court3 claiming the NFL violated fundamental fairness through its league-wide disciplinary process for players. The suit relied upon the Federal Arbitration Act and Labor Management Relations Act and claims that the NFL violated both.
This article examines:
The wide ranging powers of the Commissioner under Article 46 of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement; and
Elliot’s (ultimately unsuccessful) attempts to challenge the NFL’s six-game suspension in Court.
...to continue reading register here for free
LawInSport is an independent publisher used by sports lawyers, sports business executives and administrators, athletes and support personnel, academics and students to stay informed of the latest legal issues and developments from the world of sport. It is our mission to improve the accountability, transparency and standard of the administration and governance of sport and the understanding of the law.
Thank you for considering becoming a member of LawInSport, supporting independent media and the promotion well researched, reference and accessible legal information that contributes to greater transparency and accountability in the sport and legal sectors.
This work was written for and first published on LawInSport.com (unless otherwise stated) and the copyright is owned by LawInSport Ltd. Permission to make digital or hard copies of this work (or part, or abstracts, of it) for personal use provided copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage, and provided that all copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page (which should include the URL, company name (LawInSport), article title, author name, date of the publication and date of use) of any copies made. Copyright for components of this work owned by parties other than LawInSport must be honoured.
- Tags: Arbitration | Collective Bargaining | Dispute Resolution | Federal Arbitration Act | National Football League (NFL) | National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) | United States of America (USA)
- Ezekiel Elliott back on the bench as suspension reinstated
- Investigation into deceptive practices around NFL concussion settlement continues
- Concussion in sport - How employers’ duties compare in the U.K., Ireland & North America
About the Author
Adam R. Banner is the founder and lead attorney at the Oklahoma Legal Group, a criminal defense law firm in Oklahoma City. Mr. Banner’s practice focuses solely on state and federal criminal defense including plea negotiations, jury trials, and criminal appeals. He represents the accused against allegations of sex crimes, violent crimes, drug crimes, and white collar crimes.