The new standards in the National Football League.
Touch or abuse a woman, and get suspended.
In a league, which had been tone deaf for decades about its players problems off the field, we have a new norm.
In a league where once ex-Rams linebacker Leonard Little was allowed back onto the field to play, after driving drunk and killing a man, and in a league where Greg Hardy terribly abused a fiancee with a beating and guns, and came back to play for the Cowboys, we now have new rules.
Sensitive to its domestic abuse issues, and its poor reputation in dealing with bad citizens, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott got hammered.
He is the new poster boy for acting like a punk.
A 6-game suspension and a big loss of salary. In addition, a black check mark on his ledger, that even more sanctions will be coming if he steps out of line again.
Elliott was never charged in an ugly series of confrontations with an Ohio State girlfriend he was breaking up with .
Charges were never pressed. He was never arrested.
But yet the evidence of a series of violent outbursts, was out there for everyone, TMZ, lawyers, the NFL to see.
5-physical incidents in a 6-day span. 8-pictures that showed injuries to 4-different parts of the woman’s body last July.
The Cowboys are screaming, much like the Patriots did over the 4-game suspension to QB-Tom Brady, the aftermath of deflate gate, the coverup, and the tampered evidence.
Whether something fell thru the cracks that led to the decision not to prosecute….or a lack of evidence… whether there was a payoff from Elliott to the woman, to not pursue the case, it did not influence the NFL investigators.
Where the shadow of Ray Rice’s knockout punch to his girlfriend, and his suspension, or the Adrian Peterson child-beating incident, that kept him out of football for a year, still exists, the NFL continues to take steps forward tp discipline players for off the field incidents.
And with this suspension, the Cowboys themselves will be slapped with another 500,000-fine from the NFL, for a little known by-law. If you continue to employ players who get in trouble, the club gets fined too. In the Cowboys case, fined again.
It happened last year when a half-million fine was levied for the year long drug suspensions to Rolando McClain and Randy Gregory among other discipline issues.
NFL players keep doing stupid things off the field. You sometimes wonder if the message will ever get thru to them.
It should in Dallas where their superstar running back is gone for nearly two months. He is the 6th Cowboy now to run afoul of the law, and the NFL league office in 24-months.
In the court of law, Ezekiel Elliott viewed himself as off the hook. The evidence given to the NFL was pretty strong.
Innocent-but-Guilty in the eyes of the NFL, and they are their own Judge-Jury-Executioner.