The NFL took the Ezekiel Elliott case to the proverbial next level on Wednesday by accusing the NFL Players Association of “spreading derogatory information to the media” about Tiffany Thompson, who has accused Elliott of domestic violence. The NFLPA publicly denounced the accusation in no uncertain terms.
Privately, the NFLPA feels even more strongly about the situation. As one source with knowledge of the situation put it, union leadership is “seething” over the situation.
Part of the problem, as multiple other sources explained it to PFT, is that the information that has surfaced in recent days regarding Thompson comes directly from the 160-page investigation report created by the league. Someone in possession of the report has leaked portions of it to three different media outlets — the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Yahoo Sports, and the website owned and operated by the NFL.
Reporters will never disclose their sources; in this case, anyone with access to the 160-page report is a suspect. Including the entity that prepared it.
As to the NFLPA, the notion that the union would engage in victim shaming doesn’t fit with its handling of past cases. There was no allegation of victim shaming in, for example, the Josh Brown case, the Greg Hardy case, the Ray Rice case, or the Ben Roethlisberger case. There wasn’t even a hint that it was happening in those cases.
In this case, the league itself compiled 160 pages of information, including plenty of derogatory content about Tiffany Thompson. Regardless of whether the NFL has clear, unmistakable proof that the NFLPA has been spreading the information, it’s clear and unmistakable that the NFL gathered it, documented it, and made it part of the official record in the Elliott case. Blaming the union for the fact that some of it is now getting out seems odd at best, especially without a smoking gun to prove it.