D Kevin McNeirEditor's ColumnOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: Suspensions Won’t Rid Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott of His Domestic Violence Demon

The jury is still out on the future of Dallas Cowboys superstar Ezekiel Elliott — accused of but not officially charged with domestic violence by a woman with whom he once had an intimate relationship. As football fans all know, the 225-pound, fleet-footed running back has found himself in very hot water after a woman came forward claiming that Elliott had physically abused her on one or more occasions sometime last year.

And while the former Ohio State standout has, for now, successful appealed the NFL’s six-game suspension because of his allegedly violating the league’s personal conduct policy, the matter has yet to be resolved. But this isn’t the first time Elliott has used his fists to resolve conflicts when off the field. In fact, the suspension, according to NFL officials, was issued not only because of the recent domestic violence allegations but also and an earlier St. Patrick’s Day parade incidence in March.

In addition, in July, Elliott became embroiled in a bar fight in Dallas where a local disc jockey was punched in the face and suffered a broken nose. As an outsider looking in, it seems that Elliott has real anger issues and routinely uses his size and strength to squash anyone that pushes his buttons.

As a college freshman, I remember hearing about one of the Michigan Wolverines’ football stars who would beat his beautiful girlfriend whenever things weren’t going well for the team. She stayed and everyone seemed to know. But nothing ever changed. I always wondered why she allowed it to keep happening and why college officials didn’t do something. They simply looked the other way.

We tend to put our entertainers and athletes on pedestals like they are Olympic gods to be revered and worshiped. Sometimes because of their superior skills and talent, we grant them special privileges, exempting them from being truly accountable for actions that society deems inappropriate, if not illegal.

But as my father once told me, “They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me.” Ezekiel Elliott may be a tremendous football player. For some he may even be worth the millions of dollars that the Cowboys are paying him to run up and down the field with a football under his arms.

However, there’s no room for someone that uses violence as their primary means of communication — whether the victim is a woman or a man. Maybe if he lost that lucrative contract, was banned from the NFL and was sent out into the world with his resume in hand, he’d finally try to get some help and admit that he has a problem. I doubt he’d enjoy the 9-to-5 grind and a check reflecting minimum wage earnings.

I hope someone steps in before a violent outburst leads to an outcome that even his celebrity status cannot erase. I’m sure glad a man like him never became involved with my daughter. I don’t think I’d make a good prison inmate.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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