The attorney for Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott criticized the media for focusing on the league's investigation of his client.
Elliott's attorney, Frank Salzano, said the NFL is only investigating Elliott because of the backlash it received over its domestic violence policies. Most recently, former New York Giants placekicker Josh Brown was given a one-game suspension, placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list and ultimately released after allegations of multiple domestic violence incidents with his now ex-wife. Two years ago it botched the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that Elliott could still face "a lengthy suspension" at the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.
"For the past several days the media has elected to focus on allegations of domestic violence involving Mr. Elliott despite the Columbus, Ohio Prosecutor’s Office decision not to charge Mr. Elliott nearly two months ago," Salzano said in a statement. "As previously reported, the prosecutor's office conducted a thorough seven-week investigation whereby in their own words they 'dotted every I and crossed every T' and concluded there was no credible evidence to file any charges against Mr. Elliott. My office provided a mountain of exculpatory evidence demonstrating Mr. Elliott's innocence and directly contradicting all of the false allegations contained in the Accuser’s two police reports as first reported on July 22, 2016."
According to those police reports, Elliott's ex-girlfriend alleged that the rookie assaulted her in a car.
Elliott denied the allegations and authorities declined to bring charges. Witnesses told authorities they didn't see Elliott assault the woman and Elliott says the woman got bruises and abrasions in a bar fight.
"Yet the media has chosen to deflect the recent negative press regarding the NFL's reported mishandling of several domestic violence matters by focusing on the NFL's prolonged investigation of Mr. Elliott," Salzano said.
The NFL reportedly interviewed Elliott over a month ago, while Salzano called the investigation "a non-story."
Salzano also said that he believes the NFL will clear Elliott of any wrongdoing, and added that the league should shut down its investigation of Elliott, "which is only open because of their apprehensiveness stemming from the recent scrutiny it has come under for its handling of other domestic violence matters."
Elliott leads the NFL with 799 rushing yards and has scored five touchdowns for the NFL East-leading Cowboys.
– Scooby Axson