The NFLPA released a statement on behalf of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on Sunday, in which Peterson said he "cannot excuse [the NFL's] refusal to be fair."
Peterson said a report that he backed out of a hearing with the NFL on Friday is "just not true," and that when he consulted with the union, he found the hearing was "something new and inconsistent with the CBA" and told the NFL he would not participate in it.
The running back claims that the union "sent emails, letters, and had conversations" with Roger Goodell's office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but did not get a response until Wednesday night and did not receive answers to important questions about the NFL's proposed hearing.
From Peterson's statement:
At this point, I've resolved my matter in the criminal court; I've worked to make amends for what I've done; I've missed most of the season, and I stand ready to be candid and forthcoming with Mr. Goodell about what happened. However, I will not allow the NFL to impose a new process of discipline on me, ignore the CBA, ignore the deal they agreed to with me, and behave without fairness or accountability. The process they are pushing is arbitrary, inconsistent, and contrary to what they agreed to do, and for those reasons, I never agreed to the hearing.
Peterson reportedly has a reinstatement hearing set for Monday, after which an arbitrator will have five days to issue a ruling. The hearing is separate from the disciplinary hearing that ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Peterson declined to attend on Friday.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports league sources say Peterson's legal team has "refused to turn over documents the NFL has requested" and that Peterson's absence from Friday's hearing "prevented the NFL from being able to ask certain face-to-face questions."
La Canfora also reports that the NFLPA believes Peterson's case should have already been resolved by the NFL and that there is still "a distinct possibility" the NFL will make a decision before Week 12.
Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault on Nov. 4 and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service. He originally faced felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after being accused of hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch.
The NFL then announced that it informed Peterson his case will be reviewed for potential discipline under the personal conduct policy, and asked him to submit any relevant information. Peterson, who is on the Commissioner's Exempt list, must be reinstated before he is allowed to play again.
The NFLPA filed an "expedited, non-injury grievance" against the NFL last week in an attempt to get Peterson reinstated immediately.
- Molly Geary