The NFL and NFLPA released competing statements on Wednesday in regards to the Ezekiel Elliott situation.
Shortly after news broke that commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday appointed Harold Henderson to be the arbiter for Elliott's appeal hearing on Aug. 29, the NFL accused the players union of leaking text messages sent by Elliott's ex-girlfriend in an effort to discredit her claims of domestic abuse.
The NFL's statement followed reports by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Yahoo! Sports that revealed text messages sent by Tiffany Thompson, Elliott's ex-girlfriend, that were included in the NFL's 160-page report of the findings of its investigation into Elliott's alleged domestic abuse.
"Over the past few days we've received multiple reports of the NFLPA spreading derogatory information to the media about the victim in [the] Ezekiel Elliott discipline case. It's a common tactic to attempt to prove the innocence of the accused by discrediting the victim -- in this case Ms. Thompson -- when coming forward to report such abuse," Joe Lockhart, the NFL's executive vice president of communications, said in a statement.
"Common or not, these tactics are shameful. Efforts to shame and blame victims are often what prevent people from coming forward to report violence and/or seek help in the first place."
The NFLPA responded with a statement calling the league's allegations that the union was spreading information about the case a "lie."
"The public statement issued on behalf of every NFL owner is a lie. The NFLPA categorically denies the accusations made in this statement. We know the League office has a history of being exposed for its lack of credibility. This is another example of the NFL's hypocrisy on display and an attempt to create a sideshow to distract from their own failings in dealing with such serious issues. They should be ashamed for stooping to new lows," it said.
Elliott will argue, according to the documents, that Thompson made multiple threats to "ruin his career."