The NFL announced the suspension for running back Adrian Peterson of six games without pay and that he will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15, 2015, for violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. This punishment is related to his discipline of his four-year old that Peterson pled no contest to reckless assault of the child in November in Montgomery County.
Peterson has the right to appeal and while doing so would remain on the newly created exempt list. Within the letter sent to Peterson, commissioner Roger Goodell stipulates a lack of meaningful remorse from Peterson for his actions and Peterson’s apparent acknowledgement that he continue to discipline his children in a similar fashion. Goodell described the aggravating circumstances that led to this decision.
“First, the injury was inflicted on a child who was only four years old. The difference in size and strength between you and the child is significant, and your actions clearly caused physical injury to the child. While an adult may have a number of options when confronted with abuse – to flee, to fight back, or to seek help from law enforcement – none of those options is realistically available to a four-year old child. Further, the injury inflicted on your son includes the emotional and psychological trauma to a young child who suffers criminal physical abuse at the hands of his father.
“Second, the repetitive use of a switch in this instance is the functional equivalent of a weapon, particularly in the hands of someone with the strength of an accomplished professional athlete.
“Third, you have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct. When indicted, you acknowledged what you did but said that you would not ‘eliminate whooping my kids’ and defended your conduct in numerous published text messages to the child’s mother. You also said that you felt ‘very confident with my actions because I know my intent.’ These comments raise the serious concern that you do not fully appreciate the seriousness of your conduct, or even worse, that you may feel free to engage in similar conduct in the future.”
I have to believe Peterson will appeal and could very well do more.The NFL PA has already responded on his behalf, citing this punishment as an “example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements they make and the actions they take.” (read full NFL PA statement HERE)
Reading through the letter from the league (HERE) and considering he has already missed 10 games, with pay, this seems excessive and arbitrary, which falls right in line with what many players and their union have been saying for some time about Goodell and his recent punishments. A substantial fine, or forfeiture of wages earned while on the exempt list seem more in line with what has taken place.
The letter, again, which I encourage you to read, continues with an explanation of the hearing the league attempted to have with Peterson over the last several weeks.
Here is the statement Peterson released in mid-September when these allegations came to light.
Here is the statement he released along with the NFL players association from earlier this week about the meeting the league was recently requesting.