Roger Goodell

NFL players union appeals Elliott's six-game suspension

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NFL players union appeals Elliott's six-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Fan who posed with Goodell has message for other Patriots fans: 'Get over it'

Fan who posed with Goodell has message for other Patriots fans: 'Get over it'

The were called fakes, NFL plants and traitors. And those were some of the nicer reactions.

When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made his surprise return to Foxboro on Thursday night at the Patriots' preseason opener, he posed with three fans, who have caught plenty of grief from Patriots fans angry that they'd take a picture with the man who suspended Tom Brady for four games last season in the Deflategate aftermath.

“It’s a photo. People can get over it. It’s a photo,” John Miller, one of the trio who posed with the Commish told Boston.com.

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Miller, Spencer Shea and Josh Bisson said they were the fans who were asked by Goodell as they ran into the commissioner and NFL staffers on a Gillette Stadium ramp if they wanted a picture.

“We had like 15 seconds of normal stadium talk before he asked if we wanted to take a quick picture,” Bisson said 

Initially, the some called it a set up by the NFL.  

Even the Patriots fan who sold the tickets to Bisson, Jon O'Hara, who said he was a Pats season ticket holder and an old high school friend of Bisson, was critical of the three. 

“I would’ve at the very least just been yelling stuff about Brady,” O'Hara told Boston.com. “I probably would’ve been chanting ‘Where are our draft picks? Where are our draft picks?’ I would’ve made it miserable for him to be there.”

Bisson said it's time for Pats fans to move on.

“I don’t really have any negative feelings,” Bisson said. “It’s easy to say something behind someone’s back, but the past is the past. We won the revenge tour, he had to hand over the trophies, and I think that kind of buries it. If we didn’t win, it might be a different story.”

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NFL suspends Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott six games

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NFL suspends Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott six games

The NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the suspension. 

The suspension results from an incident more than a year ago in which an ex-girlfriend of Elliott's accused him of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio. Elliott is a former Ohio State running back. The city attorney in Columbus announced last September it wouldn't pursue charges, but the NFL can still penalize a player without charges being filed. 

Schefter reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is "furious" about the suspension.

A six-game suspension is the NFL standard for domestic violence cases, though it has been inconsistently applied. Elliott has three business days to appeal and the league then has 10 days to schedule an appeal hearing. Elliott would be able to play while he appeals.

The league said Friday there was "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott had physical confrontations last summer with his ex-girlfriend.

Here's the full statement from the league on the suspension, via Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio:

The league revised its personal conduct policy in 2014 following sharp criticism of a case involving former Baltimore running back Ray Rice. The policy gave Commissioner Roger Goodell authority to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases, with or without a conviction.

According to ESPN, the NFL investigated text messages and retained medical and legal experts to help Goodell reach his decision. The league also investigated domestic violence allegations from February and July 2016, as well as a St. Patrick's Day incident in which Elliott pulled down a woman's shirt, but it didn't factor in the NFL's decision in this case. That incident was cited in the letter notifying Elliott of the suspension. 

Last month, Elliott was allegedly involved in a scuffle at a Dallas bar where a man's nose was injured, but Dallas Police suspended that investigation when witnesses wouldn't come forward.

Elliott, the fourth pick in the 2016 draft, led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,631 yards. He had 15 rushing touchdowns and one passing TD.

Associated Press report included in this story.