A U.S. District Judge is set to hear arguments on Friday in a Minneapolis courtroom over Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and his attempt to overturn an NFL suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Peterson and the NFL Players Association sued the NFL last month, arguing the league overstepped its boundaries in its discipline of Peterson. The 75-page lawsuit said that the ban was contrary to "fundamental principles of notice, fairness and consistency" of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The league claims Judge David Doty has no authority to overrule an arbitrator’s ruling that upheld NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's suspension of Peterson and wants the lawsuit thrown out.
Peterson, 29, was indicted in September by a Texas grand jury on a felony charge after he was accused of hitting his four-year-old son with a switch.
He was suspended for the remainder of the 2014 season after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault in November. Peterson, a six-time Pro Bowl running back and 2012 NFL MVP, will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15.
Included in the terms of the suspension was a mandate for Peterson to participate in a counseling and therapy program. The NFLPA filed a brief in federal court last week arguing the NFL can't force Peterson to attend counseling.
"It's important that he's reinstated as soon as possible because it's fair, because it's the right thing to do," NFL Players Association president Eric Winston said to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "That's the tough part, that our guys have such short runways [in their careers]. ... It was done to purposely hold him out, whether the facts were correct or not. That's what really irks me.”
Peterson lost more than $4 million in salary after his suspension and is scheduled to make $12.75 million next season as part of six-year, $86.28 million contract extension he signed in 2011.
- Scooby Axson