Ezekiel Elliott's talent is plain as day, but his screw ups away from the gridiron have cast a shadow over one of the most exciting young talents in football. And it's only going to get worse for Elliot as he takes his suspension battle with the NFL to court, exposing his testimony to the scrutiny of the public.
As a result of Elliott taking the league to federal court over his six-game suspension, the transcripts from his arbitration hearing have become part of public record. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, part of the transcript shows Elliot admitting to drug use in college, following a line of questioning about the party habits of his ex girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson.
[NFL Lawyer Daniel] Nash: And I think you said you liked her [ex girlfriend Tiffany Thompson] because she liked to party, drink and do drugs?
Nash: You liked to do that, too?
Elliott: I do like to party.
Nash: And like to get drunk?
Nash: You like to do drugs?
Elliott: I did in college.
Though the specific drug is not made clear in this line of questioning, we do have some insight into what Elliott may have been experimenting with in college. Following a domestic violence investigation in late 2016, text messages between Elliot and Thompson became public that alluded to Elliott's drug use, and according to the Star-Telegram, she claimed during subsequent interviews with NFL investigators that he used both marijuana and cocaine during their relationship.
This is not the best look in the world for a guy who is out to try and restore his image. Though it could ultimately be pretty harmless—a lot of pretty successful people smoked weed in college and turned out okay—it's the sort of quote that fuels the detractors who view Elliott as a knucklehead.
Things are going to get a lot uglier in this case before they get better. The NFL Players Association has lambasted the league for their treatment of Elliott and the length of his suspension, calling it a, "league-orchestrated conspiracy by senior NFL executives" and "one of the most fundamentally unfair arbitral processes conceivable." The league has since responded by saying no such conspiracies exist.