Adrian Peterson Suspended For Remainder of Season
Goodell Sets Precedent for NFL’s New Personal Conduct Policy
After the NFL’s terrible handling of the miserable Ray Rice debacle earlier this year, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell set forth a baseline discipline for players who commit assault or domestic violence. This mandatory minimum consists of the player missing six games without pay. However, such discipline can be extended if the all-mighty Goodell finds any “aggravating circumstances” in a particular case.
Minnesota Vikings’ Running Back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse shortly after these standards were implemented. At such time, Peterson, the NFL, and the Minnesota Vikings agreed that Peterson would be placed on the “commissioner’s exempt list” which is more or less a suspension with pay. Earlier this month, Peterson plead no-contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge, successfully concluding his legal matters in regards to the incident of abuse. According to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), an NFL executive told Peterson that his time spent on the exempt list would count towards any disciplinary action the league took. Peterson had no such luck.
Today, Goodell announced that Peterson would be suspended for the remainder of the season. Furthermore, his reinstatement next season will depend on the success of his “rehabilitation.” Goodell cited the following “aggravating circumstances,” which give a good indication of what sort of actions may lead to extended discipline in the future:
-The young age of the child (4);
-The child suffered psychological trauma;
– The use of a switch is “the functional equivalent of a weapon, particularly in the hands of someone with the strength of an accomplished professional athlete;”and
– Peterson’s lack of “meaningful remorse,” and statements that he would not “eliminate whooping my kids.”
The NFLPA immediately took to Peterson’s defense, stating that they will appeal the decision and demand a neutral arbitrator. Obviously targeting the fact that Goodell acts as judge, jury, and executioner in such matters, the NFLPA claims that the league has a “credibility gap” due to their “inconsistent” disciplinary decisions.