Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot is appealing his six game suspension by the NFL. But regardless of what happens, the NFL will face criticism no matter what.
It’s increasingly popular for NFL pundits to criticize the league, especially on issues of player investigations like Ezekiel Elliot. Because of their power, billion dollar companies are targets for the label of oppressors and the NFL is no different.
Some of the criticism is justified, as the NFL has shot itself in the foot by mishandling some player investigations. But no one is perfect, so with companies full of imperfect people, is an expectation of perfection realistic?
Ezekiel Elliot might think the NFL is damaging his reputation and if the league’s investigation wasn’t thorough enough that might be true. But even if the NFL is wrong, Ezekiel Elliot has done more than enough to damage his own reputation.
Even if his accuser is lying, Ezekiel Elliott is still responsible for the people he surrounds himself with. Elliot’s personal decisions are not the NFL’s fault, so it’s hard for me to see Ezekiel Elliot as a victim here.
Primarily because there are hundreds and hundreds of players in the NFL who’s conduct is exemplary on and off the field and they get little credit for it. These are the kinds of players who deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to NFL investigations.
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Some will argue what about Tom Brady and Deflategate? But the New England Patriots had already lost the benefit of the doubt as it pertains to cheating with Spygate. And even then the NFL received harsh criticism for being too lenient with their punishment on the Patriots.
The NFL knows it must be strict on its players when it comes to the issue of domestic violence. They have to make an example of Ezekiel Elliot, so that other players understand the ramifications if they find themselves in a domestic situation where violence could erupt.
Is it possible that the NFL was too harsh in their six game suspension of Ezekiel Elliot? Sure it is. But even if Elliot didn’t do what he’s accused of, the NFL has learned that it’s best to punish too harshly and be wrong than to punish too lightly and be right.