We should know by the end of the day if a federal judge will grant Ezekiel Elliott an injunction against his six-game suspension from the NFL for domestic violence. Over the last 48 hours, it appears Roger Goodell is doing everything he can to try and improve the NFL’s legal footing. His attempts have been comically hollow and desperate.
Let’s start with the biggest clown show in this circus:
NFL is suspending former Giants kicker Josh Brown six more games for domestic violence, sources tell ESPN.
Read that again…
“… former Giants kicker Josh Brown”
Yes friends, a guy who currently has no job in the NFL has been suspended six games. The NFL suddenly decided to drop this Fisher-Price hammer the morning before Elliott’s injunction will be decided. It’s painfully obvious, but what really hurts is the insult that Goodell and his team thought it wouldn’t be.
We’re not nearly as stupid as the NFL thinks. And if we’re not, you know who especially isn’t? Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas. If you and I find the NFL’s tactics insulting, imagine how he will feel.
Of all of the domestic violence cases heard by the NFL since Ray Rice’s, Josh Brown’s was the league’s biggest fumble. The initial one-game suspension was met with severe public backlash, prompting Roger Goodell to panic and then give Brown the equivalent of an indefinite suspension. A guy you’d definitely want to play cards with, Roger consistently doubles down on his own incompetence.
It’s also convenient that the NFL went after Josh Brown given the conspiracy theories that were swirling about Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and the Cowboys’ meeting this Sunday with the Giants. Brown’s case was the one that everybody pointed to for comparison; admitted domestic violence over an unproven accusation, one-game and six-game bans respectively. The imbalance and inconsistency couldn’t have been more egregious.
Two days ago, a story began to circulate that the NFL would be investigating legendary WR Michael Irvin for a previous domestic violence accusation. Irvin has been retired since 2000 but is an employee of the NFL network as a studio analyst.
While the league certainly has the right to consider its employees personal conduct, the timing of this story was incredibly convenient. “Look, we aren’t just focusing on players. Everyone associated with the NFL is held to the same standard.” Even if this is genuine, broadcasting it two days before Judge Mazzant’s decision is hardly a coincidence.
Basically, the NFL is trying to whip up some quick legal precedent like a contestant on “Chopped.” Somehow, they think that this laughably transparent maneuver will impress a seasoned federal judge. It’s yet another time that Roger Goodell has failed to read his audience and shown his inadequacy.
Say what you want about the NFL’s increasing revenues during Goodell’s tenure, but many would argue that these were natural developments that had no basis in his influence or involvement. Whenever Goodell is truly front and center of an issue or a decision, it’s almost always come with a hit to the league’s reputation.
I recently went into even more detail about the NFL’s blooper reel when it comes to domestic violence cases. This week is just more of the same; Goodell’s reactionary decisions and make-up calls. They’ve thrown the Hail Mary, and hopefully Judge Mazzant swats it down.