Sports

Ezekiel Elliott Off the Hook for Las Vegas Music Festival Incident

Ezekiel Elliott was cut some slack after he met with commissioner Roger Goodell.
Ezekiel Elliott was cut some slack after he met with commissioner Roger Goodell. Keith Allison
Ezekiel Elliott will not be punished for a May incident during which he was briefly handcuffed by Las Vegas police after knocking over a security guard at a music festival, the NFL announced Wednesday afternoon. Elliott met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his actions Tuesday.

A bystander video initially released by TMZ showed a LeBron James-Lakers-jersey-clad Elliott apparently arguing with a woman. While he doesn't appear to touch her in the video, Elliott does repeatedly look like he's blocking her path away from him.

The video cuts from the argument to Elliott talking with a venue security guard. Elliott bumps the guard, who dramatically falls into a barricade. After the guard falls, Elliott immediately throws up his arms and says, "I didn't do anything!"

Eventually, two Las Vegas Police Department officers handcuff the Cowboys star and take him away from the confrontation.


Las Vegas police told the Observer that the officers who cuffed Elliott then talked to the security guard, who told them he didn't want to press charges. Without the guard's cooperation, the officers released Elliott.

Elliott's attorney told TMZ that the security guards blew a normal argument between Elliott and the woman out of proportion.

"Security misconstrued and overreacted to the situation," Frank Salzano told the tabloid.

The NFL investigated the altercation, interviewed multiple witnesses and reviewed "documentary information," the league said Wednesday. Elliott's interview with Goodell was part of the league review.


According to the league, Goodell "reinforc(ed) the standards of conduct expected of (Elliott) and the consequences of failing to meet those standards" but determined that Elliott did not violate the league's personal conduct policy.

"I've worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me. I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision." — Ezekiel Elliott

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Goodell has unilateral authority to punish players under the league's collective bargaining agreement with the NFL's players union. Goodell previously suspended Elliott for six games under the policy in 2017 after Elliott was accused of domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend. The terms of Elliott's previous suspension provide for additional punishment, up to and including banishment from the league, if Goodell finds he violated the policy again.

Tuesday, Elliott said he needs to work harder not to put himself in "compromised situations."

"I've worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me," Elliott said. "I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young