NFL asks appeals court for stay that would allow immediate suspension of Ezekiel Elliott

Mike Leslie walks you through the legal mess surrounding Ezekiel Elliott's suspension. Note: Since this video aired, the NFL's request for a stay of the injunction was denied in a Texas court. It's now headed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's pending federal court case could very well take several more months until it’s resolved.

The NFL, however, showed Friday that it would rather this move swiftly, as lawyers for the league petitioned the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay that -- if approved -- would allow for the immediate suspension of Elliott.

“We believe the lower court ruling was deeply flawed, based on the merits,” NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart told reporters on Friday.

Lockhart said the NFL hopes a ruling on the stay by the 5th Circuit would take place by Tuesday, although Lockhart added that it could take up to two weeks.  

U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant, the same judge who granted a temporary injunction last week, had a similar stay request in front of him already. Elliott was suspended for six games last month after a year-long investigation over domestic violence allegations, a decision Mazzant ruled was "fundamentally unfair.”

In a filing on Wednesday, the NFL asked Mazzant for an expiated ruling on its stay request, but Mazzant hadn’t ruled as of Friday morning. Typically, litigants wait for a district court ruling before filing with an appeals court.

The NFL has previously appealed Mazzant's issuance of a temporary injunction to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“A lot of the coverage has veered toward the relationship between the league office and the union, and the process by which discipline is administered under the CBA,” Lockhart said. “What’s lost here in this case is the issue of domestic violence. We have been very clear that this is an important issue. We hold our players to a high standard, and to us it does not rest on what any law enforcement or judicial institution makes a decision on.

“We believe when we have evidence and have come to a conclusion that a player has violated the personal conduct policy, there are consequences there. And that is the case here."

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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