The NFL’s Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit over Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension is temporarily on hold.
The NFL suspended Elliott on Aug. 11 following allegations that he had abused his ex, Tiffany Thompson, in July 2016.
The NFL Players Association appealed Elliott’s suspension on Aug. 15. An arbitrator denied the appeal on Sept. 5, concluding the NFL followed its disciplinary policy “closely, step by step,” court papers state.
The League’s lawyers had filed a complaint against the NFL Players Association in Manhattan Federal Court on Sept. 5 to enforce the arbitrator’s ruling.
But before the NFL brought this New York lawsuit, Elliott had already tried fighting his suspension in a Texas court.
A judge there reportedly decided to issue a preliminary injunction against the suspension, which has allowed Elliott to play this season so far.
The NFL then fought this judge’s decision in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 2, which is still weighing the issue.
A federal judge and lawyers for both the NFL and players union agreed Wednesday to stay the New York City suit until the Fifth Circuit makes a decision.
NFL honchos decided to bench Elliott after determining there was “credible evidence in the record, that on three occasions Mr. Elliott had used physical force against Ms. Thompson resulting in her injury,” according to arbitration papers submitted alongside the NFL’s lawsuit.
The NFL also investigated a March 11, 2017, video from a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas, which allegedly showed Elliott “pulling down the top a woman’s blouse to expose her breast, which conduct he has admitted.”
While the NFL didn’t discipline Elliott for that incident, officials found that his behavior was “inappropriate and disturbing, reflecting a lack of respect for women,” the arbitration papers stated.