BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Ding ding ding. It’s the NFL vs the NFLPA.
The NFL suspended the Dallas Cowboy’s running back Ezekiel Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into a domestic violence case. The NFL Players Association appealed the six-game suspension and said 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.”
After that decision, in a statement from the NFL’s executive vice president of communications Joe Lockhart, the NFL accused the NFLPA of “spreading derogatory information” about Elliott’s accuser Tiffany Thompson after text message exchanges were leaked.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy released a statement saying:
“Over the past few days we’ve received multiple reports of the NFLPA spreading derogatory information to the media about the victim in Ezekiel Elliott discipline case.
It’s a common tactic to attempt to prove the innocence of the accused by discrediting the victim — in this case Ms. Thompson — when coming forward to report such abuse. Common or not, these tactics are shameful. Efforts to shame and blame victims are often what prevent people from coming forward to report violence and/or seek help in the first place.”
The NFLPA then released a rebuttal statement:
“The public statement issued on behalf of every NFL owner is a lie. The NFLPA categorically denies the accusations made in this statement. We know the League office has a history of being exposed for its lack of credibility.”
The statement continued to say, “This is another example of the NFL’s hypocrisy on display and an attempt to create a sideshow to distract from their own failings in dealing with such serious issues. They should be ashamed for stooping to new lows.”
The NFL has been criticized in recent years for how it handles domestic violence committed by its players.
Elliott officially filed his appeal on Tuesday and is expected to be heard on Aug. 29.