A former Buckeye from Ohio State, Ezekiel Elliott, has been in the spotlight ever since he was drafted into the NFL. In the 2016 season, Elliott became the starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Coming from a family of athletes, the public’s expectation was high. However, the athlete has been receiving negative attention for the claims made on him about abusive encounters with a female friend.
The first allegations against Elliott were made the same year he was drafted into the NFL.
His accuser, a “friend with benefits” from OSU, first called the police in February 2016, claiming she had hurt her shoulder after being pushed into the wall by Elliott. However, there was no conspicuous marks indicating abuse and no charges were made.
After thriving on the field of Ohio Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Elliott into the NFL in April 2016.
That July, Elliott had flown back to Columbus with a friend and was picked up at the airport by his accuser. The three had gone clubbing that night and returned to Elliott’s apartment early the next morning. According to his accuser, a fight had occurred between her and Elliott in which he choked her for about 30 seconds, after throwing her into the bedroom door. The following day, he would not let her leave the apartment, so she took pictures of her bruises and scars. The timestamp on the pictures matched the times she reported of the abuse according to the NFL’s investigation.
The next five days involved similar situations, in which the accuser would take photos of her wounds after reporting to the police. Elliott denied each claim and the numerous witnesses never saw any sort of abuse.
Because of the inconsistent allegations, Elliott was not arrested. However, the NFL said they would investigate further.
In September of 2016, Elliott filed a harassment report after his accuser called him repeatedly and even hacked into his email account. Shortly after, the court decided to not arrest Elliott because of contradicting stories.
At the start of the 2017 season, the Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, expressed his support for Ezekiel Elliott and believed he was not guilty of any domestic violence.
Despite Jones’s beliefs, the NFL decided to suspend Elliott from the first six games of the 2017 season. They concluded that Elliott’s team did not have substantial evidence to prove his innocence.
Shortly after the suspension, Elliott and his team made it clear to the public that they planned on fighting the verdict.
In late August 2017, Elliott’s team filed an appeal. The appeal hearings went on for 4 days.
As of September 5, Elliott’s 6-game suspension was sustained, but he was able to play in Week 1.
Yet, this was still not enough for Elliott’s team. They believed the ruling was unfair and did not support the decision.
On September 8, the court agreed that Elliott’s case was not properly reviewed. Therefore, he is now able to play for the Cowboys until everything is settled in court.
After the Dallas’s win against the Giants, Jerry Jones and Elliott both spoke out about the repealed suspension. Both are relieved.
Elliot will continue to play while the appeal and investigation continue.