Just hours after the NFL announced Harold Henderson would hear Ezekiel Elliott's appeal, the NFL released a shocking statement regarding reports that the NFLPA was spreading derogatory information about Ms. Tiffany Thompson, the woman who previously accused Elliott of physical violence.
Last week, Elliott, whose case was dropped for a lack of evidence, was suspended six game by the NFL. Yesterday, Elliott and the NFLPA - the National Football League's Player Association - announced they would appeal, a normal response to controversial suspensions.
The NFL then announced Harold Henderson - a member of the NFL/NFLPA Player Care Foundation, who infamously reduced Greg Hardy's suspension from 10 to 4 games - would be hearing Elliott's appeals case. Many saw this as a sign that Zeke's suspension would likely be reduced, something many have argued is only fair - saying the NFL has no right punish Elliott, if the law could not - a highly debated premise.
The NFL said the reports of the NFLPA spreading negative news to about the victim, Ms. Thompson, are a common practice of the accused, but added: "These tactics are shameful. Efforts to shame and blame victims are often what prevent people from coming forward."
The NFLPA responded with a statement claiming the NFL was incorrect in their accusations, adding: "The League office has a history of being exposed for its lack of credibility. This is another example... They should be ashamed for stooping to new lows."
The controversy further ingratiates the NFL in the ongoing cultural debates about gender violence and victim-blaming.