NEW ORLEANS - The 5th Circuit of U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard oral arguments Monday from NFL lawyers and lawyers for the NFL Players Association and Zeke Elliott.
How the judges rule will determine if Elliott will continue to play or if the NFL can begin to enforce its six-game suspension they gave him for an alleged domestic violence incident.
The NFL is trying to get the judges to lift a preliminary injunction that Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman granted Elliott last month allowing him to play.
They claim the injunction was improperly filed.
”First the district court should have dismissed this case from the outset,” said Pratrik Shah, the NFL’s attorney.
The NFL argues that Elliott and NFLPA are trying to manipulate the system by using the courts to prevent players from serving their suspensions.
Elliott was suspended for six games for being involved in an alleged domestic violence case.
“If that suspension in and of itself works irreparable harm then they could go to federal court and get a preliminary injunction in virtually every case,” Shah said.
The NFLPA and Elliott’s attorneys want the court of appeals to deny the NFL’s motion that would allow the running back to continue to play while his case winds itself through the court system.
They cited the Tom Brady case where he was allowed to play the entire season until his deflate gate case went through the system.
“They didn’t even seek a stay in the court of appeals in Brady and he played all season,” said Jeffery Kessler with NFLPA. "They did not run in and say we need an emergency stay."
The NFL says if the court doesn't allow them to suspend Elliott now it sends a message that players won’t be punished for serious incidents like domestic violence.
The court is not expected to rule Monday but both sides have agreed to an expedited decision that's expected by the end of the week and before the Cowboys play the Packers on Sunday.
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