NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Adrian Peterson without pay for at least the rest of the 2014 season, stating that the Minnesota Vikings star has “shown no meaningful remorse”. Peterson was suspended Tuesday morning for violating the National Football League’s personal conduct policy.
The NFL Players Association quickly announced it will appeal the decision and demand a neutral arbitrator – not Goodell – to hear the appeal, accusing an unnamed league executive of telling Peterson that his nine weeks on the exempt list would be considered time served, USA Today reported.
If the suspension stands firm, the soonest Peterson would be considered for reinstatement would be April 15, 2015, Goodell said in a letter notifying the 2012 NFL MVP of the decision and outlining the basics of a counseling and treatment program, including a mandatory meeting by Dec. 1, 2014 with a league-appointed psychiatrist.
“We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement,” Goodell’s letter said. “You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”
Failure to do so and Adrian Peterson could face additional discipline, including being banished from the NFL.
Peterson, 29, was indicted Sept. 12 on a felony charge for injuring his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with a switch months earlier. He evaded jail time by pleading no contest Nov. 4 to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault.
But the NFL came down hard on him, in what could be a test case for the personal conduct policy Goodell has pledged to revise and strengthen in the wake of the league’s mishandling of the Ray Rice domestic assault charge.
Peterson was paid for the nine games he has missed, eight of them since his voluntary placement on the exempt list Sept. 17. If suspended the rest of the season Peterson will forego $4,147,058 in base salary.
“The decision by the NFL to suspend Adrian Peterson is another example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements they make and the actions they take,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “Since Adrian’s legal matter was adjudicated, the NFL has ignored their obligations and attempted to impose a new and arbitrary disciplinary proceeding.”
“The facts are that Adrian has asked for a meeting with Roger Goodell, the discipline imposed is inconsistent and an NFL executive told Adrian that his time on the Commissioner’s list would be considered as time served.”
The Vikings offered little in Peterson’s suspension simply stating, “The NFL has informed the Vikings of today’s decision regarding Adrian Peterson,” read a statement released by the league. “We respect the league’s decision and will have no further comment at this time.”
Peterson’s contract, which extends through 2017, has no guaranteed money left.