I’ve been saying it all along. Domestic violence allegations are no joke. Maybe now that the nation of Dallas Cowboys fans and my fellow Ohio State Alumni have asserted disappointment over the recent 6-game suspension of the outstandingly talented Ezekiel Elliott, people will pay attention to this.
Even if you are never prosecuted, never found guilty of committing an act of domestic violence, the allegations alone threaten your reputation immensely, whether you are a public figure or not.
If you’ve followed Elliott’s story over the past year, you know about the allegations, you know about the investigations, and you know he was never prosecuted because the evidence was so contradictory and untrustworthy that charging him and prosecuting him would have caused a storm of disbelief in a justice system already plagued by distrust.
And yet here he is, one of the most talented athletes of his time, and he can’t participate in the profession he loves for 6 games because the NFL believes he failed to avoid conduct detrimental the integrity of the NFL.
No one wants to say it, but I will. Just because I am a criminal defense attorney does not mean I don’t believe in victim’s rights. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you deserve to stand up and confront your abuser in court, and see them prosecuted for every hurting you. You deserve to be believed.
However, there are so many people accused of committing acts of domestic violence who didn’t do what they’ve been accused of and no one wants to stand up for them because they are afraid of looking like they support domestic violence. Everyone just automatically assumes that the person accused did something wrong, that they did what they were accused of. That the allegations must be true.
I have witnessed people lie and create stories of violence because they are jealous, upset, insecure, and revengeful. They want to destroy the reputation and the bright future of the person they are accusing because they think it will make them feel better. And even when there is enough proof to show those people are lying, people still don’t want to believe it.
Whatever your thoughts are on Ezekiel Elliott, in the court of public opinion, he deserves people to stand up for him. He deserves to have his reputation withstand the allegations that were too weak, too inconsistent, and too unreliable to charge him with a crime. He deserves to continue being valued in his profession. He deserves to continue being valued as a human being. He deserves to have a bright future.