By Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley, AFRO Sports Desk
The details surrounding a battery and robbery allegation against Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy are strong but sketchy. Photos of social media model and McCoy’s former girlfriend, Delicia Cordon, looking bruised and battered spread through the Web last week, suggesting strongly that McCoy or someone close to him broke into Cordon’s home, beat her and demanded jewelry that was purchased by McCoy. The claim seemed to be backed by a 911 call from Cordon herself. An associate of Cordon also took to Instagram early last week naming McCoy as the culprit, however, a statement from Cordon’s attorney Tanya Mitchell to ESPN lightened the blame on the running back, saying Cordon was no longer certain that McCoy was directly involved. Again, sketchy but strong.Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate whether McCoy could or will be suspended in the 2018-2019 NFL season.
Riley: Obviously until this settles in court we won’t know for sure. But, if you compare this case to what happened to Ezekiel Elliott last year, McCoy will be suspended whether he’s found guilty or not if it or even if Cordon drops the allegation. The NFL does not play when it comes to domestic violence cases. It’s a black mark on the NFL when one of its players is named in an assault case and it would do whatever it takes to “protect the shield” when it comes to public perception. With Cordon’s attorney already easing up the allegations, this case could be dropped—but it might not matter. Elliott’s assault case never even made it into a courtroom because it was determined his accuser lied to the police and he was still suspended six games by the league. It’s still the same commissioner and same no-nonsense policy in the league when it comes to domestic violence, so chances are likely that McCoy sits for a few games, maybe more, next season.
Green: The Elliott case was a great example of how silly the NFL reacted last season and perhaps they learn from that and don’t make the same mistake again. The circus that followed the Elliott case was a nightmare for the league, and Roger Goodell won’t be so quick to pull the trigger on a suspension again until he has all the facts lined up. Presuming McCoy is found innocent if a court case proceeds then he’ll play. Reprimanding players despite lack of evidenceo and the absence of a judge and jury was exactly what Elliott was dragged through last season, and I just can’t see the NFL inviting that type of criticism again even though they want to protect the brand.
Riley: Overreacting is what the NFL does best and Goodell has proven that once he starts to feel pressure from critics, he’ll reprimand a player regardless if there’s a case or not. It’s the age of the #MeToo movement and any type of abuse or sexual harassment is being treated with severe consequences for those that are accused. If this matter isn’t cleared up by opening day, the only way I can see McCoy not being suspended is if this moves into the court room and the dates are pushed back. But even if that happens, McCoy playing on Sunday’s will not sit well with fans, and the pressure will be once again on Goodell to make a move. The photos of Cordon’s face are graphic and even though there is no proof that McCoy or any of his associates did it, when pictures like that surface to the media, somebody’s going to be made an example of—and it won’t be Goodell.
Green: With a high-powered defense attorney in Don Samuel, who helped defend Baltimore legend Ray Lewis in his famous double-homicide case in 2000, and a seemingly air-tight alib—-McCoy was in Florida when the attack happened in Georgia—there is a strong chance that McCoy will survive any jail time or court-fueled penalties. Goodell hasn’t always been the fairest judge and executioner but he has proven to learn from his errors and he definitely erred big time last year with Elliott. With that incident being so recent, it might be just enough slack to have McCoy in uniform throughout the season.