NFLPA files lawsuit against NFL on behalf of Adrian Peterson
The NFL Players Association filed the suit in an effort to get the Minnesota running back reinstated.
On behalf of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL on Monday, according Chris Mortensen of ESPN. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, is an effort to get Peterson reinstated after he lost his suspension appeal last week.
Peterson was suspended after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the alleged use of a switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. He was initially placed on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list before being suspended for the rest of the 2014 season. He appealed the suspension, but an arbitrator ruled against him. Currently, Peterson cannot be reinstated before April 15.
Former NFL executive Harold Henderson served as the arbitrator in the case and his appointment is one of the main issues raised in the lawsuit. The NFLPA previously challenged Henderson’s neutrality, citing his roughly two-decade employment in the league office.
“The NFLPA expected this outcome, given the hearing officer’s relationship and financial ties to the NFL,” the union said in a statement. “The decision itself ignores the facts, the evidence and the collective bargaining agreement. This decision also represents the NFL’s repeated failure to adhere to due process and confirms its inconsistent treatment of players.”
The union argued during the appeal that Peterson’s punishment was given out retroactively after changes made to the NFL’s personal conduct policy in August.
While the lawsuit is an effort to get Peterson reinstated before April 15, it is unlikely to get the Vikings running back on the field this season. The 29-year-old Peterson has not played since Week 1. Even if the NFLPA wins the lawsuit, it seems unlikely there would be a resolution before Minnesota completes its season in two weeks. Peterson has reportedly considered retiring from the NFL and pursuing a career in track.