Moments after Henderson upheld the suspension, Elliott's lawyers said he "is looking forward to having his day in federal court where the playing field will be level and the National Football League will have to answer for its unfair and unjust practices". The Southern District of NY falls under the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previous year backed Goodell's four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady in the "Deflategate" case.
The U.S. District Court in eastern Texas will now review the NFL Players' Association petition on behalf of Elliott to have the Cowboys running back's suspension voided and to decide if the case moves to trial.
Elliott, drafted No. 4 overall, ran behind a massive offensive line to the tune of 1,631 yards and 15 scores, adding another 363 yards and a touchdown in the passing game.
Elliott was handed a six-game ban last month for violating the NFL's player conduct policy. It is in this light the Court views Henderson's decisions to exclude Thompson and Commissioner Goodell as necessary witnesses, as gross errors resulting in a fundamentally unfair hearing. Elliott has denied wrongdoing.
No facts of whether or not Elliott committed the violence is up for discussion in this court case. That faith was rewarded Friday, when a judge granted a preliminary injunction in Elliott's favor.
Elliott's legal team issued a statement saying in part, "This is just the beginning of the unveiling of the NFL's mishandling as it relates to Mr. Elliott's suspension". It seems that the league chose to punish Elliott for not cooperating more than anything, and Mazzant took issue with how the league went about suspending Elliott.
The NFL is now weighing its options and could pursue relief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to a source.
Either way, let us remember the league's letter to Elliott informing him of the suspension said it found "substantial and persuasive evidence" that the 6-foot, 225-pound running back engaged in violence against the 5-5, 120-pound Tiffany Thompson "on multiple occasions".
In upholding the suspension on Tuesday, Henderson wrote Goodell rightfully acted within his "broad discretion" under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and followed the process step by step. It does not matter if the player is convicted of a crime or not and is based exclusively on an investigation by the league. Why were they not allowed to ask Goodell about his decision to ignore the advice of the investigator who said she did not believe Thompson to be credible?